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Prototype Hardware Runs Wild

Early Nintendo prototypeThe video game console sitting near your television did come come into this world fully designed on the first try.  Hardware developers spend lots of time and resources to design the perfect case for the technology within, and this design process takes consoles through multiple iterations on the way to becoming what we all know today as, say, the Nintendo Entertainment System or Microsoft Xbox 360.  Platypus Comix has compiled images from around the Internet of prototype game consoles and peripherals spanning from the original NES all the way to the Sony PlayStation 3.

Nintendo's first try at Americanizing the Famicom was the Nintendo AVS (for Advanced Video System), which is on free display behind glass at New York's Nintendo World Store. The AVS prototype involved two wireless controllers with squares for directional pads instead of crosses....plus a very different-looking Zapper, an optional wireless joystick, and keyboard and tape recorder attachments. All these elements nudged themselves into the console for safe storage. It looks even more like a clunky 80's VCR than the actual thing did, but back then, that was the intent. Remember that "game machine" had a stigma at the time thanks to the Atari crash. Nintendo shopped this model around, and Atari themselves almost bought the distrubtion rights, but a legal calamity involving the ColecoVision version of Donkey Kong kiboshed that alternate timeline.

Some of these early concepts are unique at best and downright ugly at worst, but I kind of like some of the alternate Sony PlayStation controllers purely from an aesthetic point of view. There's one variation that looks like an inverse Super NES controller melded with a traditional PS1 controller smashed into the Wii's + and - buttons. If that's not the grand convergence of controller layouts, I don't know what is.