Nintendo preservation website Forest of Illusion has managed to acquire another rare piece of gaming history. It's been able to archive a Japan prototype of the Nintendo DS X4 firmware - recovered from an X4 prototype unit.
According to the source, "just about every aspect of this version is different from the final retail release". One of the highlights is the boot up screen. Instead of featuring the Nintendo DS logo, it appears to be a GBA placeholder screen and a sound file of children shouting "Nintendo" (you can have a listen below).
The menu is also a lot different from the final version. The Cutting Room Floor details how the placeholder menu features DS and GBA boot options, wireless play, and Nitro settings - containing user information (console name, birthday and colour), the date and time, language options, touch panel settings and more.
A Cutting Room Floor contributor also notes how "some parts" of this prototype have a strong resemblance to the early DSi settings app:
@trashbandatcoot - "Should bring up that some parts of this prototype strongly resemble those of an early DSi settings app, mainly the layout of the menu settings itself and the touch calibration menu. "
Some DS enthusiasts have also got the firmware up and running on their own units, thanks to Forest of Illusion's efforts:
Nintendo previously showcased prototypes of the DS at E3, which was at the time internally known as Nitro. What do you think of this slice of firmware history? What about that boot up sound effect? Leave a comment down below.
Wow this is cool. I wonder if they really intended to use the "Nintendo" sound when booting (and changed their minds), or it was just a placeholder. It would be so strange if the DS didn't have the sound they ended up using!
Sorta related, but anyone else kinda disappointed the switch doesn’t boot up with its iconic click sound? Just doesn’t make sense to me.
@Snatcher The Switch lacks a lot of "Nintendo Flavor" things.
Sterile UI, very few fun noises, no music (imho one of the biggest losses: The shop music).
It's perfectly serviceable and functional, but it lacks a lot of charm and character compared to previous platforms that offered a "Nintendo experience" just in their main menus.
I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo of America were against that boot up sound as they were trying to shake Nintendo's "kiddy" image at the time and I guess that wouldn't have helped! I think already I read they weren't thrilled by the GameCube's purple lunchbox like design.
@Einherjar Why did you need to remind me we have no shot music!? The charm, the fun, the memories!
@Einherjar agreed. I miss some of the chill menu ambience that some of the screens were known for.
Plus, I know it’s a bit of a meme, but having separate themes for a digital storefront and for when you’re setting up your internet settings is part of what gave those pieces of plastic their charm too. Such attention to detail and commitment is missed, I have to say.
Feels like Nintendo wants to follow Sega’s shout from the Genesis era… but i do prefer the Nintendo shout from Tetris Attack, which is more uplifting in tone
😅I want the "Nintendo" sound on my 'Lite.
@PessitheMystic I genuinely think it's less of a meme and more actually good PR.
A new store theme actually drew peoples attention.
And with that, their eyes to the "What's new" tab.
It was an experience and a great PR tool, too.
The current eShop is a necessity, the former ones were an experience in and of themselves.
Goes to show the Nintendo DS was originally going to be a next generation Game Boy until Iwata change the brand and make it a third pillar platform.
The DS is one of the best systems ever. I'm so looking forward to seeing it on Nintendo Switch Online
@Snatcher The Switch booting up with the Switch click sound. That's an excellent idea
I love finds like this! When the gigaleak happened, that was a great time
@PessitheMystic the 3ds internet settings music is unironically good
@Einherjar This is absolutely true, and is something I feel strongly about as well. Nintendo's next model needs to bring back that distinct Nintendo charm to its user experience. Even sooner, they need to reincorporate a more charming UX into next year's Switch model.
I was expecting a charming chime or jingle… but this is okay too.
I really miss the small anecdotal bells & whistles Nintendo systems used to have… whether it be a boot-up sound, logo animations, menu music, Eshop tunes, comprehensive personal data-tracking, themes, backgrounds, Streetpass, channels, unique system colours, etc. … they each added to each platforms uniqueness, charm & personality. I hope these start to come back in some form sooner than later.
… Wun can only hope.
@wuntyme8 I hope so too! I think Nintendo was afraid of the bloat causing the long loading times on the Wii U to come back on the Switch, so they went with a minimalistic approach to the Switch UI. Hoping with the next-gen Nintendo console, all of that WILL indeed come back. Who knows, maybe the newer devs and hardware designers will come up with more whimsical Nintendo feels, or maybe they won't.
I really hope their next console has that Nintendo-y feel. Right now every home screen and menu is the same and it just kinda stinks. No personality, no variation, just grey on grey and a simple game selection interface.
@ibookboyuk but then they'd have to make a separate sound for the Lite since the click is the for the joycons
@Einherjar I actually like the minimal menus on the Switch. Turning it on is a nice change from the PS5 which is a complete mess of over complicated UI.
Ok...I want this to be put on 3DS CFW.
@Einherjar Honestly, the Wii U had all the fluff. But the system was SO slow it took 30 seconds to launch a simple game, or go to a different menu. I am happy the Switch doesn't have any of that, it's by FAR the fastest Nintendo system.
Honestly the less time I need to use the OS the better.
@NinjaNicky I only have experience with Sony systems up to the PS4, but yeah, overly complicated UI design is kinda their schtick.
Don't get me wrong, i like the Switch's UI as well. It's definitely not bad (even though the folder system leaves much to be desired).
But it's also extremely sterile. A few themes would have gone a long way for instance.
We have so many colorful JoyCon that invite to mix and match, yet the Switch Home screen is either black or white.
Again, it's functional, as @sanderev said it's super fast (not so much the eShop, but that's a different can of worms) and it does exactly what it should.
It's just lacking flair and character. It feels like a device, not a Nintendo device.
I wasn't talking about the eShop. It's very slow and that's mainly because it uses the built-in webbrowser to do everything.
The Switch UI is a correct implementation of the KISS principle. (Keep It Simple Stupid) and honestly I would love for Nintendo to keep to that, even with next gen hardware.
@Einherjar Just adding on to what you said about the lack of a Nintendo Charm.
It was very intentional on the Switch. Take the barebones white and black themes, these came from wanting the system to always boot up within a certain amount of time instead of taking longer to load like the 3DS and Wii U. I imagine a jingle/power on sound would potentially take up more resources that Nintendo didn't want to spare with their minimalistic take on the Switch.
@Einherjar I remember special edition 3DS came with a theme that matched the console edition so it is weird that there's a couple of special edition Switches that don't have a theme to go with it. I've never been bothered by themes but I agree with you that it's very bland, especially since its aimed at being a family console, you'd think it would have themes or even different background colours
@NinjaNicky Hmmm. Good point. But I would give the Lite the joy-con click startup sound too
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