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Incredibly Rare English Nintendo 64 Disk Drive Found, but What Secrets (Game) Does It Contain?

What? Nintendo 64 is evolving!

The gaming industry is no stranger to “vaporware” games that seem interesting when they’re announced but never see store shelves, but that’s not the kind of thing we see a lot with hardware in the modern era. Back in the day, however, there were a few pieces of legendary hardware from big name companies that never made it onto store shelves, and the 64DD—at least outside of Japan—is one of them.

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The system was an add-on for the Nintendo 64 we all know and love, but it never saw public release anywhere outside of Nintendo’s home country. That’s because it was a commercial flop there and likely would’ve been the same here, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad system—just that nobody was buying it (shoutouts to the Dreamcast). There was a ton of planned software for it that either didn’t come to fruition, wound up on the standard N64, or went to other consoles, which you can read all about on good ole Wikipedia.

Since the console add-on was never released in the United States, only dev units and prototypes really exist for the U.S. version, which is what makes MetalJesusRocks‘ find so interesting. It seems to be a fully complete retail unit due to some key differences with the developer versions of the console, which no one realized even existed before. It also came with a disk-based game inside, but due to hardware complications, there’s no way for MJR to know what’s on it, so he’s asking for the Internet’s help. Take a look at the full video above, which shows Mario running around the console’s loading screen, for more details on this lost piece of gaming history.

The 64DD isn’t Nintendo’s only entry in the hall of lost consoles (which I just made up but would love to see in real life), either—there’s also the matter of the Nintendo PlayStation. You may be aware that Nintendo and Sony were originally developing the PlayStation together before Nintendo announced another partnership with a competitor, which caused Sony to go off and create the PlayStation on their own (pretty bad for Nintendo, but great for the gaming industry). If the 64DD isn’t enough lost console goodness for you, you can watch someone tear down an actual Nintendo PlayStation console prototype or find out more about a game that modern coders made to work with the prototype console.

Bless you, Internet.

(via Gizmodo)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>

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