Nintendo somehow got us on board with a console named “Wii,” but we still like to think of a reality where it was called by its codename, the Revolution. A Japanese auction for what turned out to be the original controller prototypes for the hardware inched us closer to that timeline this weekend, showing off the Revolution-mote that never quite was.
A Yahoo Japan user sold off a Wii sensor bar, remote and nunchuck for around $660 on Saturday; both they and the bidder have since shared numerous photos of the collection.
A lot of what we see above is similar to what Nintendo ended up going with for the Wii. The main differences, other than the obvious GameCube connections and gray color scheme, may be more subtle.
But WayForward's James Montagna chimed in on Twitter to verify and contribute to the finding. He tweeted his memories of checking out the prototype from the codename Revolution days.
"There’s so many cool details on this," he wrote. "My favorite detail, however: the +Control Pad, A Button, and B Button molds all come from Game Boy Advance SP."
He also posted his own photo of another version of the remote, which features a different B button than what Nintendo went with. This one is from 2006:
Never before documented anywhere online that I've seen, so perhaps it's newsworthy; prototype Wii controllers had PAUSE / BACK buttons instead of + / - Buttons! I took these pictures of the controllers Nintendo used at E3 2006. pic.twitter.com/TMl6bkIzXn— James Montagna (@JamesPopStar) October 28, 2018
Yes, with the excitement of these cool, random finds comes nostalgia: I remember my disappointment when I came home to the news that the hard-core Revolution was actually going to be the toddler-babble Wii. But these pics highlight that the name doesn't matter; Nintendo was onto something unique even before it settled on that name.