Apparently, this is “a component of the Revolution’s interface”. As fake as the image looks, as unusual is its source. It´s from the otherwise very critical people at Joystiq. They received it through some poster called echo_machine, who in turn received it by an inside source that he claims to be “very reliable, and (...) connected to DigiPen and Nintendo”.
EDIT I uploaded the image again, from its apparent origin at the Newground forums. On the previous image, there were a few lines missing at the bottom. To me, it is unclear if the Revolution console is part of the object or if its base is just similarly designed. This guy echo_machine has a DeviantArt page. On it, he doesn´t appear like the kind of person that would be able to create an image like this one with Photoshop easily. Mainly, there´s just photos. He does come out as a Nintendo fan, though.
Also, on page two of the same thread, this guy admits to it being fake.
Haha I fooled all you dumb bastards, lol.
HARDY HAR HAR!
Well, maybe not all of you.... but some of you.... come on -- you were fooled.
But it really isn't a 3D model. I actually used a real photo and just photoshopped the hell out of it, lol. Sorry if I actually got anyone worked up. Just a joke.
Further on, though, on page four, he claims he wasn´t serious admitting to faking it.
It's not a fake. I've been trying to get you guys to listen for 2 days now.
By the way, all you guys are pretty dumb. I even intentionally called it fake, just to see the reaction, and you were STILL saying I faked it, lol. Without even reading, haha. Serves you right.
The image IS, in fact, real, and it was gathered from a friend at Digipen who is interning at Nintendo.
That's all I can say.
Oh, all the IGN and 1up crap WAS fake, though.
Or was it.....
LOL. You guys are dumb. Have I EVER posted speculation? Rumors? LIES??? I've been coming here for almost a year, and have ALWAYS been a straight shooter. And I'm the biggest Nintendo advocate here!!! Anyway, I can't say anymore about the source, or what it is for, because I fear the (added) attention will be directed toward him.
There. Are you all happy?
Oh, well. Anyway, since some of you are comparing this one to SEGA´s ´Hologram Time Traveller´, here are some images of that machine. I remember playing this. It was around 1992. It was expensive to play but it was quite amazing.
EDIT The poster claims that the source of the picture is a friend who is an intern at Nintendo through DigiPen. Now, I read up on that institution and the DigiPen Institute of Technology is described as ´an accredited, college-level program that teaches its students how to program and design for today's demanding video game applications.´ This description is courtesy of the Nintendo company FAQ. In fact, Nintendo is sponsoring the school apparently in return for students researching and developing for Nintendo systems. On DigiPen´s history page, they write:
In 1994, DigiPen officially accepted its first class of video game programming students. Offered in cooperation with Nintendo of America, this program was created to address the industry's need for a formal source of qualified personnel.
Nintendo describe the cooperation like this:
Nintendo and DigiPen's relationship dates back to the formation of DigiPen Applied Computer Graphics School in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1993. In 1998, in cooperation with Nintendo of America, DigiPen opened its Redmond, Wash., campus, making it the first school in the world to offer bachelor degree programs for video game programming.
So the school does have a campus in Redmond, which is exactly where their summer workshops are held. And these workshops really do get students to actually work directly on Nintendo games. Sounds unlikely? Read on.
According to an extensive three-part interview with GameCritics (part one, part two, part three), the school is ´located right next door to Nintendo of America in Redmond, Washington´ and ´Mr. Miyamoto has been there (he even signed the table in the conference room at DigiPen). (...) DigiPen maintains a pretty close relationship with Nintendo, so it's only natural that Nintendo takes an active interest in what's going on at the school.´ Amazingly, some students are even given the chance to get inside proper game development. Like the interviewed student Ben Hopper.
I'm interning for Nintendo Software Technology Corporation (NST), which is a second-party developer for Nintendo, and actually shares the same building as DigiPen (students aren't allowed into NST, naturally). NST is the only division of NOA that develops games and is overseen by Nintendo Company Limited (NCL) in Japan. NST management actually reports directly to Shigeru Miyamoto's EAD team.
Now, it´s unlikely that those students would be shown Revolution details deliberately. At the same time, it might just be that an intern like Ben comes across some hint. After all, they are inside Nintendo of America.