Check out this Wii Remote prototype and see if you can spot all the ways it changed

A piece of gaming history was dug up this weekend, and Nintendo fans should get a particular kick out of it. Readers, say hello to one of the earliest Wii Remote prototypes:

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The controller was listed for auction on Yahoo! Japan, eventually selling for a respectable 74,000 yen (about $660 / £515). But of course, the real fun comes from spotting all the little ways the controller changed as it morphed from this prototype to the final product.

There's the gray color scheme and the fact it connects to a GameCube, of course, but there are plenty of other, more subtle details as well. For example, WayForward designer and director James Montagna pointed out on Twitter that the buttons are actually molded from the GameBoy Advance SP. Montagna also noted that later prototypes had pause and back buttons instead of the + and - buttons the Wii would eventually adopt (the prototype which was sold via auction features Start and Select, so this design went through a few revisions).

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These prototypes come from a time when Nintendo's next console was known to go by the codename "Revolution". At the time, many thought it would simply be another graphical leap forward, just like pretty much every console manufacturer had done before. No one suspected just how different the console would be, nor how it would come to dominate the market for years as Nintendo leveraged the Wii's simple design and low cost to grab the attention of a wider audience. But from these prototypes, it would seem that Nintendo knew for awhile it needed to take a different path. Pretty cool!

Want to see some other long-lost relics of gaming's past? How about the Sony / Nintendo PlayStation prototype that was unearthed in 2015? It's up and running now, you know! 

Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.