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What Do You Make of This 3DS Prototype?

Posted by James Newton

Better than the real thing?

Nintendo consoles go through countless prototypes before the final version hits the shop shelves, so it's no surprise that the 3DS didn't always look the same way it does now. The newest instalment of Iwata Asks, in which Nintendo President Satoru Iwata chews the fat with his colleagues, reveals a few interesting prototypes of the 3DS console.

At one point during the system's early life, Nintendo's research and development department created a prototype that allowed the user to swap the position of the Circle Pad and D-Pad. Although it was never intended to see release, it proved useful for the team to discuss where the individual segments should sit by swapping them around on an actual working console. Other than that, this is all-but identical to the good old DS Lite, with no widescreen, cameras or any other 3DS features, seemingly.

Would you have liked to have seen this prototype released instead of the final 3DS design?


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User Comments (40)



Phobos said:

I'm pretty glad they went with the final design. This... just isn't as appealing, nor as sleek.



TwilightV said:

Prototypes are better suited to museums than being used for actual gameplay. And I like the final design best. But this does look good.



DannyBoyTheDude said:

I actually like the whole swapping idea. The position of the d-pad now seems like it will be a little uncomfortable to use.



Portista said:

I think switching the D-Pad and the Circle Pad would of been awesome! But still, I think the 3DS looks way better.



DrCruse said:

I like the prototype better. More functionality is always a better thing, even if I don't always switch it out. Also, is that a GBA slot?



NintyMan said:

It doesn't have a home button and it looks too much like the DSi, so I'm glad they decided on today's model.



Daemon said:

While this particular model doesn't appeal quite as much as the final 3DS design, the idea of interchangable controls is very appealing. The downside -- how long before people started losing them, through carelessness or them wearing loose? The upside -- potential for some interesting games with two circle pads, and Mad Catz and others would release a host of 3rd party control nubbins.



Jazzem said:

Swapping the two components would have been awesome, but probably would have made them easy to lose



cryingjohnny said:

dem! I actually had this idea about the 3ds, This would have meant that you could have 2 circle pads in the box and applied them both for certain games for example.



Token_Girl said:

Neat idea, but it would make things easy to loose. The only thing I'd want is bigger screens, but I guess they need to leave them small so they can expand them for the 3DS Lite.



HeroOfTime007 said:

Swapping the controls on an actual console to me is a terrible idea. Internal-wise, the hardware for the analog stick takes up a lot of space, which is why the PSP cant have two analog nubs. Second, It would be better if you could use the circle pad for the d-pad in ds games similar to Analog Dualshocks in PS1 games.



Xkhaoz said:

The swapping would be cool, but I'm sure it'd create problems (dust, losing one or the other, ect.)



longtimegamer said:

I was actually thinking of something like this as solution for the 3ds, if people didn't like where it was already place. Neat to see that they had previously thought of this too.

Edit: I do agree that this would be a way to lose parts, if not break something easier.



Kid_A said:

Definitely would like to the see the control-pad/circle-pad swap-ability but other than that I'll stick with the current model



Meteora said:

The final model is the best one for sure, though it'd be interesting if you could swap the D-pad and Circle Pad on it. Eh, people would probably lose the pieces or end up breaking them anyway.



HappyHappy said:

I perfectly fine with the final version, the prototype looks too much like a redesigned DS.



Kirk said:

I have designed a controller that does that, and I did it a few years back, but in much smarter way than anyone has though of so far.



TingLz said:

I dunno about a GBA slot. That would make the hardware bigger because of the need for room



fishman100 said:

Swapping the D-pad and the Circle Pad would be awesome; too bad they didn't include it on the final model.



longtimegamer said:

They could have done this by putting both on a pull-out (To make room to switch them around) swivel base to switch around, but still keep it connected to th unit. Then you wouldn't lose anything. Be a little slicker way of doing it



LuWiiGi said:

Nintendo should have done something similar what Microsoft have done with the new 360 controller - a slide pad that can also function as a d-pad. Then you get both functions with no uncomfortable placement.



LunarJade said:

It looks like this was just used to try and figure out how to do the controls.

After all it pretty much just looks like a DS lite but with swappable buttons. So I certainly doubt this prototype was ever going to be out there.
Although I think being able to swap the d pad and slide pad would have been a good option for some, I imagine extra parts that can pop off wouldn't have been so good for some of the younger audiences either.



PSICOffee said:

Damn that would have been awesome. They could've even made it with swappable buttons on the right side of the screen so you could have a left-handed version! Who cares if they get lost, that's the peoples problem. So many more possibilities with this like 4 thumb pads.

But NOOOO they just HAD to fill the system with a bunch of useless crap underneath the shell on the right side of the screen like cords and circuit boards and stuff.



Chariblaze said:

It's not necessarily confirmed, but there was a footnote in the interview about OoT 3D, and it says it is scheduled for Spring 2011. Then again, the facts could simply be old, or it could be a translation of a note in an old interview.



WaveBoy said:

I've always thought about a D-Pad/Analog swap idea for the Dual Shock controller and even the 3DS. And while it would definitly be pretty cool, it would take away some of the sleakeness and simplicity, and the fact that you 'could' lose those piece let alone there would be line indentations on the DS for where you place them which would look 'again' less sleak.



_unDfined_ said:

What about being able to swap the circle pad with the A/B/X/Y for lefties? I would've liked that



Pastry said:

I think that there should just be the circle pad. Then you could press down on both sides of the pad leaving just the + pad.



Deviant_Mugen said:

The swapping of the d-pad and circle pad would've been a cool feature for the 3DS to have...

As for people losing the parts, that's their problem...



ZukutoBen said:

Maybe they should Do this for the 3DS XL and also add a NES A B buttons block. Be able to Switch all 4 button block to your likeing. Like if you were Left Handed.

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