Retro Gaming Preservationist Discover A Rare Nintendo 64 Prototype Controller, Revealing An Iconic Gaming Accessory

Retro Gaming Preservationist Discover A Rare Nintendo 64 Prototype Controller, Revealing An Iconic Gaming Accessory
Credit: Nintendo Wire via YouTube

Retro gaming preservationist Shane Battye found an early controller prototype for the Nintendo console. A first rendition of the N64, the gaming accessory had a weird shape and might have introduced the analog joysticks to the gaming market.

Shane Battye posted a long thread about his discovery on his Twitter account, chronicling his observations. The controller had some variance from its retail version, one being the joystick with paddings and appears thicker than the marketed model. Also, the colors of the C, A, and B buttons are not the same as the released version.

All of Shane Battye’s observations point out to the possibility of the Nintendo controller being an early prototype. Understandably, the N64 controller was not shown to the public since it’s an earlier model of what was released in the market.

However, the industry has a way of making their new consoles available to developers in its prototype form. This is usually done so new games can be created based on the specifications and capacities of the new console. It is a standard procedure in the gaming world so new games will be available even before the console’s launch.

On the other side, there is also a strict NDAs and contracts that protect these types of prototype. And as much as the N64 prototype controller is part of gaming history, its existence is rarely revealed to the public.

Shane Battye is lucky enough to get a first-hand look at what our gaming controller nowadays might have possibly been. Also, another notable technical difference from what our current controllers look like is the addition of what seems to be a jack from a telephone cord’s end. This might have been a technical rendition meant only for development purposes.

Delving into the history of the N64 console, the unit was actually Nintendo’s first venture with 3D gaming. It was previously called the Ultra 64, but Nintendo had to change the name because of some legal concerns.

So, eventually, Nintendo came up with N64 and released several marketing endorsements ahead of the console’s scheduled release. Nintendo even enticed the market by releasing a publicity photo of the almost finished design.

Though Shane Battye’s discovery gives us a glimpse at what the N64 would have looked like, it nonetheless has to be verified based from the SGI Indy UNIX Workstation. He will then be able to figure out why Nintendo decided to change the joystick and whether it has an effect on how the N64 was publicly received.