Nintendo fans have known for a while that the motion controls of the Wii were originally planned for the GameCube. This is due to patents that have been revealed that show the Wiimote being used in conjunction with the GameCube system, with peripherals that greatly resemble the Wii hardware.
It seems that Nintendo decided to save the Wiimote as the main gimmick for their next system, as the GameCube was being thrashed in the market by the success of the PlayStation 2, which is still the best-selling video game console of all time.
We have finally been given a glance into what the GameCube motion controls would have looked like if they had been released, as a Japanese video game enthusiast purchased a prototype version of the hardware online and has released images of the original Wiimote to the public.
The prototype of the Wiimote differed in several ways from the one that came bundled with the Wii. The Wiimote itself is actually wired and is tied to a GameCube controller input, though the final design would likely still have been wireless, as the GameCube did have its own wireless controller in the form of the WaveBird.
The sensor bar is a lot bigger and is attached to a peripheral that goes into the memory card slot, rather than the back of the system.
The Nunchuk has an almost identical design to the one that was released for the Wii, except that it used an Ethernet cable as its input. It's still plugged into the bottom of the Wiimote.
The prototype of the Wiimote is similar in most respects to the final product but is missing the speaker below the Home button. The 1 and 2 buttons were labeled with a lowercase a and b, with the larger button beneath the D-pad still being labeled with a capital A, which would have likely been confusing if it had been kept.
The plus and minus buttons were also called start and select, while the power button and the four lights at the bottom of the Wiimote are missing.
The validity of the prototype Wiimote has since been confirmed by James Montagna of WayForward, who has shared images of a more complete version of the prototype that is closer to the final product, yet still shares some of the oddities of the prototype, like the start and select buttons.
Here's a more advanced Wii Remote prototype. Overall, they're wider than the final Wii Remote + not as long. The B button is flat, and not hooked like a trigger. It uses Century Gothic font for the button labels. How many other differences can you spot? There's quite a few! pic.twitter.com/WlhIvCZoUQ— James Montagna (@JamesPopStar) October 28, 2018
The Nintendo Wii represented a shift in Nintendo's fortunes, as they helped bring gaming to the mainstream in a way that had never been seen before. There are still people all over the world who have kept hold of their Wii system just so that they can play games like Wii Sports.
If Nintendo had released the Wiimote hardware for the Nintendo GameCube, then the whole gaming landscape would have looked totally different. This prototype unit has given us a glimpse into what could have been if Nintendo had jumped the gun and used their best gaming peripheral too early.
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