Over the years, there have been plenty of prototype Nintendo systems, controllers and accessories publicly revealed. If you think you've seen them all, perhaps not. Ars Technica reports how a recent listing on a Japanese auction site has shed light on a rare Wii Remote prototype designed for the GameCube.

The controller sold for 74,000 yen ($663 USD) and came paired with an early Nunchuk prototype and a longer and slightly different looking sensor bar that plugged directly into the memory card slot. The source notes how the remote is wired to the system with a GameCube controller connector - unlike the final version of the Wii Remote which was wireless. The earlier iteration of the Nunchuk seemingly used an ethernet cable and the entire setup is reliant on the same IR sensor bar technology that eventually shipped with the Wii. At this point in time, the auction's winner has not been able to get the GameCube Wii Remote running on any of his own hardware and is yet to inspect the controller's internals.

If you're unsure about the legitimacy of this prototype, WayForward Director James Montagna has issued a number of tweets reaffirming its existence. He explained how he first saw it back when the Wii was still being referred to as the Revolution. Montagna also noted how all of the buttons on this earlier prototype model were lifted straight from the Game Boy Advance SP. The discussion prompted him to post more recognisable prototype images of the Wii Remote that were closer to the final product and originally shown around the time of E3 2006.

[via arstechnica.com, twitter.com, twitter.com]