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A Close Look At A Prototype Nintendo DS

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You may not know Evan Amos by name, but you’ve certainly seen his work: he’s responsible for many of the clean product shots of video game consoles that you see on Wikipedia (and by extension everywhere else). Today, he’s shared something very cool for fans of old Nintendo hardware.


These are nice, clear shots of the original version of the Nintendo DS. Not the “Phat” model that was initially released in late 2004 then replaced in 2006 with the DS Lite, this is the prototype model that we first saw in the hands of Nintendo execs when the handheld was announced at E3 2004.

Don’t read too much into the cheap, toylike finish of this version, since it was submitted for the DS’ FTC filing, and as such is literally a prototype model. The DS units that made their way to E3 in 2004 were looking much more complete:

Not too much changed between this first model and the actual release version; about the only major difference are the shoulder buttons, which were completely useless little nubs on the reveal model, and were...only slightly improved for the Phat.


I can’t get over how much this looks like a prop from an 1981 anime that was trying to imagine what technology in 1998 would look like.

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