64DD Kit
Image: Nintendo

We absolutely love seeing rare hardware emerging from Nintendo's past. Between those Nintendo 64 development cartridges, news of the DS Lite's unused video output, and the prototype Game Boy Advance, we've also got a rare look at a development kit for the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive (64DD).

This comes from Shane Luis, who hosts YouTube channel Rerez. He received a brand-new developers kit, five unused 64DD Development Disks – which are notably blue, compared to the grey retail units – adapters, and an N64 Cartridge, and this Twitter thread offers a carefully documented technical breakdown:

If you aren't aware, the 64DD is a Nintendo 64 expansion that only released in Japan, adding a disk drive underneath and could connect to the internet. It let the N64 use 64MB magnetic disks, allowing for expanded and rewriteable data storage, a real-time clock, and more.

Ultimately, it became a commercial failure, selling 15,000 units and only saw 10 games released, with the rest moving to normal N64 cartridges, GameCube, or cancellation. By deconstructing this rare find, Shane has given us a fascinating look at one of Nintendo's most obscure projects.

[source videogameschronicle.com]