Video Game Cheat Device GameShark Returns In The Strangest Way Possible

If the announcement of an AI-powered GameShark device isn't strange enough for you, just wait until you hear about how it relates to the Nintendo Switch 2's release date.

Vanamo Online Game Museum Photo: Vanamo Online Game Museum

In the mid-90s, GameShark established itself as the name in video game cheats by releasing a series of devices that would allow you to access a collection of pre-programmed cheat codes for various popular titles. While those peripherals didn’t always work as intended, they were a revelation for cheat code enthusiasts everywhere. No more hunting down cheat code books, subscribing to magazines, or relying on the scoops of so-called friends. They were literal game-changers.

Over time, though, the GameShark brand became a shell of its former self. Diminishing product quality and changes in the industry turned the formerly essential accessories into relics of a misspent youth. Now, though, a company is trying to revive the GameShark brand for the modern era. Before you get too excited, though, you should know that they’re going about it in the strangest way possible.

At CES 2024, electronics company Altec Lansing announced that they are bringing back the GameShark brand. Rather than simply produce modern versions of the old GameShark accessories, though, Altec Lansing is chasing the biggest tech trend of 2024: AI technology. Here’s what the company had to say about its intended line of “Ai Shark” products in a recent press release:

“Ai Shark is set to redefine the gaming landscape with its revolutionary AI-enhanced technology. The innovative gaming software is set to mark a significant leap forward in the gaming experience, bringing enhanced gameplay for beginner-level users…Unlike traditional ‘cheat’ tools that manipulate hardware, load mods and cheat codes, Ai Shark focuses on aiding individuals in improving their gameplay over time. Tailored for casual gamers, this software seamlessly integrates with Altec Lansing’s commitment to delivering unparalleled audio experiences and bringing superior levels of innovation to market.”

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Now, what does any of that mean? Well…not much. The company makes vague references to things like advanced tutoring and in-game hint systems but stops well short of actually explaining what we should expect the device to do. Like many AI-related announcements coming out of CES 2024, the company seems more interested in generating hype by throwing out the industry’s most cursed buzzword rather than telling us more about the actual product.

But hey, that’s usually how trade shows work. No, the thing that makes this apparent GameShark comeback so odd is this line regarding the Ai Shark’s intended release date taken from Altec Lansing’s aforementioned press release:

“The official launch is planned to coincide with the Nintendo Switch 2 in September 2024.”

Wait, did a company behind an AI-powered GameShark device just reveal the Nintendo Switch 2’s release date? That’s certainly the question most who were unfortunate enough to have to read that press release walked away with. In fact, Digital Trends reporter Giovanni Colantonio reached out to Altec Lansing to offer them the opportunity to clarify (and back down from) that Switch 2 release date claim. Instead, an Ai Shark representative said that while Nintendo has not set an official release date for the console, the company still expects it to be launched in Fall 2024.

Later, Ai Shark founder Todd Hays reached out to the publication to state that Nintendo has not yet “officially clarified” the console’s launch window. In doing so, he seemed to be backing down from the notion that Ai Shark has any knowledge of any official Switch 2 plans whatsoever.

There are two possibilities here. The first is that the Ai Shark team was either given some valuable knowledge about Nintendo’s next console (or learned about it elsewhere) and decided to share it in the worst way possible. For what it’s worth, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone in the industry leaked such information, and many industry insiders expect Nintendo to at least reveal their next home console sometime this year.

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However, the more likely possibility at the moment is that Ai Shark is just making this whole thing up based largely on that industry speculation. I know it must be shocking to consider that the company behind an AI-powered video game “cheat” device with a vaguely famous name might make up something at a trade show just to drum up interest, but hey, not everyone is as honest as you and I.

Anyway, we’ll just have to see if the Nintendo Switch 2 does indeed get released this year and if the Ai Shark (doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo) can live up to its namesake when it will possibly launch alongside the new Nintendo console.