Console Cameos

We track down the real-world systems that hide in your virtual playground

Game: Pokemon Diamond

Console cameo: Wii

Now here's some marketing sense - sneak your newest console into the DS's most popular game. Doesn't matter that it could be a trash can on the screen for all we know. It says Wii, so we believe it.

Game: Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen

Console cameo: NES

This, however, is very clearly an NES. No mistaking that. It even has a cute li'l controller plugged in and everything. Pokemon Emerald has an orange GameCube if you're hungry for more Poke-references.

Game: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Console cameo: Nintendo DS

More DS love. Kart had one in a void; Zelda puts it smack in the middle of the ocean, cheerfully known as "Dee Ess Island." Gotta love that.

Once you dock and start exploring the island, you get this map screen. We hear there's treasure buried somewhere in the touch screen...

Game: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Console cameo: Game Boy Advance

Hourglass's predecessor, Wind Waker, got in on the stealthy product placement too. Link can use a GBA to summon Tingle and search for bonus treasure - but no one did it because who wants to summon Tingle for anything?

The inventory screen is all screwy now. You've got a GBA mixed in with a telescope, sail and grappling hook. Still, it's not as out of place as GBA connectivity. Anyone miss that crap? Didn't think so.

Game: Animal Crossing

Console cameo: NES

Smash Bros. generally gets the top nod as Nintendo's biggest piece of fan service. Let's not discount Animal Crossing though, as its many trophies and material goods are ripped right out of the company's colorful past.

The best part about these NES systems? They WORK. All of these games are playable, all bundled with the game. Don't expect that courtesy again, now that the Virtual Console is gobbling up Wii Points day and night.

Game: Mario Paint

Console cameo: Game Boy

One of our favorite Mario side-projects of all time. Its music generator still gets heavy play today, and located within its many sampled sounds is a Game Boy that produces beeping noises. Here it's used to recreate Sonic's theme.

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