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Long ago and far away, there were rumors about Nintendo reportedly wanting to use the GameCube for its first iteration of motion-based controllers. These rumors included the idea that prototype GameCube controllers were created that were designed in a similar vein to the Wii-motes. Well, that controller not only exists, but it's been uncovered.
Ars Technica is reporting that the prototype surfaced after appearing on a Japanese auction site, which featured the Wii-mote powered GameCube. That controller isn't wireless like its seventh-gen brethren, though. The pre-Wii-mote connects to the GameCube using the same connector as a standard GameCube controller, and it's wired-based.
There's also second port on the controller for an ethernet cable. The Ars article points out the ethernet slot is actually for the accompanying nunchuk peripheral, which connects to the main Wii-mote via its Ethernet slot.
The button layout is almost identical to Nintendo's final Wii-mote design. However, the 'A' and 'B' buttons are at the bottom of the controller, as opposed to being labeled as '1' and '2' buttons. The three system buttons near the top of the controller are also present.
The directional pad is closer to the NES controller design, as opposed to the more ergonomic fitting that Nintendo went with for the eventual Wii layout. As well, the color scheme is gray and dark gray, instead of the off-white scheme that came later.
One of the more interesting aspects of the setup is the sensor bar connector. As many are aware, a sensor bar is needed to use the motion controls for the Wii-mote and nunchuk. For the GameCube's remote, the sensor bar is connected through the memory card slot.
If this sounds like some sort of modded system to pull one over on the community, that's perfectly natural. According to WayForward developer James Montagna, though, the prototype is legitimate. Get a good look at it below.
Montagna revealed that he had seen some of the prototypes in the early days leading up to the reveal at E3 back in 2006. So this little bad boy has been kept far from interested eyeballs for quite a while.
As pointed out in the article, Montagna remembered noting that some of the buttons featured in one prototype were similar to the button layout of the Game Boy Advance SP. Despite Montagna confirming that he had seen prototypes like this when the Wii was known as the Nintendo Revolution, we still don't know if this particular unit is actually a working prototype.
It was reported that the owner of the new prototype -- who paid over what would be the equivalent of $660 for it -- has yet to get it to work properly. As such we still don't know if it actually features all of the same working components as the later version of the Wii-mote and nunchuk.
I imagine it would also be difficult figuring out how to get certain games to recognize that controller. But one sure way of doing so would probably be to test it out on cross-generation releases such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which could possibly feature the button inputs from the Wii version for the GameCube iteration, depending on how the controls were setup.
Just think, it was only a matter of time before people were buying GameCube controllers to use on their Wiis.