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Rare Prototype Wii Remotes Unearthed at Japanese Auction

A blast from the past.

News by Matt Kim, .

A Japanese auction put up a listing for a very rare Nintendo Wii remote controller with a peculiar design. It was designed not for the Wii, but for the Nintendo GameCube.

The listing from a Yahoo Japan user was selling bot the prototype Wii remote and Nunchuck controller along with a sensor bar. The set sold for 74,000 yen (~$662 USD) on Saturday and Twitter user @spmrp shared photos of the prototype Wii controllers.

Wii Remote prototype with GameCube connector.
Nunchuck prototype with ethernet cable.
Sensor bar prototype with memory card connector.

According to the listing and images you can see some small but major differences. The Wii Remote isn't wireless and instead connects to the GameCube's controller port. The Nunchuck connects to the remote via an ethernet cable instead of Nintendo's proprietary connector, and the sensor bar is longer, features two buldges, and connects to a GameCube via the memory card slot.

WayForward director James Montagna confirmed on Twitter the legitimacy of the prototypes: "I remember seeing these back when it was still known as the Nintendo Revolution!" Montagna wrote. He later shared more photos of other prototypes including Wii Remotes that look closer to the final launch product, but with slightly different "start" and "select" buttons which were "plus" and "minus" symbols on the final product.

Over the years we've seen glimpses of Nintendo prototypes leak out. The Wii U for example was developed using a screen and two Wii Remotes (which also seems to influence the Switch design), and the Wii too must have gone through many iterations before launch. As the years pass by who knows what other mysterious video game prototypes will be unearthed (fingers crossed for the big platinum original Xbox).

[Image source: Yahoo Auctions. Header image source: @spmrp]

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