The Nintendo DS represented a bold new direction for Nintendo, kicking off an extremely lucrative period for the company's handheld line; this "third pillar" to Nintendo's strategy wasn't originally supposed to replace the Game Boy line, but it ended up doing so anyway. The original "Phat" model was rather hideous in retrospect, but it's still an important part of Nintendo's history, and now pictures of an even earlier model have surfaced.

Evan Amos—a popular video game hardware photographer and historian—recently came across some pictures of the DS from the original FCC filing. This isn't the same as the model that Reggie unveiled at E3 2004, but its quite similar, and gives an interesting look at the initial concept.

ds-prototype-1.jpg© Evan Amos
ds-prototype-2.jpg© Evan Amos
ds-prototype-3.jpg© Evan Amos
ds-prototype-4.jpg© Evan Amos

What do you think? Did you like the original Phat DS? What was your favorite DS game? Drop us a comment in the section below.