Makers of The Conduit to become 2nd party Nintendo developer at PAX?

Chalk this one up to coincidence and an over-active imagination on my part, but there’s an inkling of a possibility that the makers of The Conduit, that hyped FPS for the Wii without a publisher, might have a little coup up their sleeves for the upcoming Penny Arcade Expo.

But first a word or warning: This post is entirely comprised of back channel speculation on the part of Infendo editors in our highly secure Infendo Compound (read: Gmail).

With that out of the way, we ask: Is High Voltage ready to announce that Nintendo will take on The Conduit and make High Voltage a 2nd party developer at PAX? Here’s what we know so far:

Yesterday, we received a press release from High Voltage inviting us to “play and review” The Conduit at PAX 2008. Not a surprise, really. With 40,000+ passionate video game-loving people of all stripes expected to attend the show, High Voltage would be stupid NOT to try and get the game in front of every single one of them (and the press). The key phrase in the image below is “Nintendo booth.”

Exhibit two is from Infendo contributing writer Jake, who talked with Nintendo’s office in New York City about their PAX plans.

“Just had a short email transaction with Nintendo’s offices in New York in which I got a confirmation of a Nintendo showing at PAX 2008. I had previously said that Nintendo was done with large public gaming presentations for 2008, but I stand corrected. The lady is double checking whether or not they will be at Leipzig, but things look doubtful,” he said.

It’s something, but definitely not a confirmation of anything other than Nintendo will have a booth at PAX. Wii Music, Wario and Animal Crossing are all good odds on favorites for the show (they’d all be safe titles, low risk), but Nintendo may very well bow to the complaints it received following E3 and… wait for it… show off its valuable new FPS property in The Conduit.

The revelation, if true, shows that Nintendo was not being entirely truthful about future shows and showing off games to close out 2008. If we use that misdirection as a platform, then perhaps they have had second thoughts about announcing any new games during the rest of 2008, and will go back on that promise as well. This would also play into their new prime directive of not announcing games until a few weeks or months before their release date.

I can think of no better (confirmed by Nintendo) title that would silence the remaining naysayers and further expand their portfolio than The Conduit. It’s entirely new IP (addresses “new franchises, Nintendo!” complaint), it’s a serious FPS (“more mature games on Nintendo systems!”), and it’s not first party (“having too many first party games on your console is bad!”). Please note, that by listing these “complaints,” I am in no way admitting that I believe they ever had any real merit. I list them in the spirit of openness.

It’s a stretch, sure, and like I said this is speculation on our part, but the pieces, at least from a distance, seem like they could fit. What say you? Does Nintendo play it safe at PAX, or will it deliver a semi-Megaton and surprise us all?