Update [Mon 3rd Oct, 2022 16:00]: A previous version of this article reported that a GameCube development kit was found in an early build of the Wii's menu. This was incorrect — a GameCube development unit was discovered to be using an early build of the Wii menu. We have amended the article to reflect this.
A GameCube development kit that uses an early build of the Wii's menu has been found. This was shared online by Forest of Illusion after being discovered by an anonymous community member. The Wii menu in the dev kit is potentially the same one used during E3 2006.
Our friends over at Time Extension reached out to Forest of Illusion for more details on this discovery, which is apparently the Nintendo GameCube TDEV dev kit. And, according to the Nintendo preservation site, there's a chance this was the model that showcased a number of games at E3 2006, the year the Wii came out, including Zelda: Twilight Princess — which launched on both the GameCube and the Wii.
The original version 0.1 Wii menu was discovered after the huge Nintendo leak back in 2020, but with so much information, avid Nintendo fans have been digging through the details ever since. Among the other games demoed on the TDEV kit were Wii Sports, WarioWare Smooth Moves, and Excite Truck.
Forest of Illusion also shared with Time Extension a forum post from way back in 2006, with the user Teddman saying that "no one at E3 played the Wii version of Zelda--it was all the GameCube version rigged up to the Wii controller."
We're sure there's still so much more to come out of this gigaleak, including even more snippets of info from this dev kit. Maybe we'll see those game demos out in the wild someday!
We want to thank Forest of Illusion and the community for their continued work in preserving Nintendo's history, and Time Extension for bringing this to our attention! Go have a read of the full article for more information.
What do you think of this discovery? Would you like to know what else the GameCube dev kit on the Wii brought us? Let us know!