In the world of video game collecting, prototypes and pre-production versions of consoles are considered rare gems. Recently, a listing on the Japanese Yahoo Auctions site has caught the attention of many enthusiasts. This listing features an apparent pre-production version of the Super Famicom, the Japanese equivalent of the Super Nintendo (SNES). Let’s delve into the details and differences that set this prototype apart from the final release.

One of the standout features of the Super Famicom prototype is the inclusion of a headphone jack and volume wheel on the side of the console. These additions were not present in the eventual production model of the SNES. Additionally, the prototype showcases a big red power switch and controller ports that are located on the left side of the console, unlike the centered ports in the final design. The front of the prototype also houses what appears to be the console’s expansion port, a departure from its placement on the bottom in the released version.

When comparing images of the prototype to the final release of the Super Famicom, it becomes apparent that significant design changes were made. The final version of the console adopted a more traditional layout with controller ports centered and a different power switch design. In contrast, the prototype features a unique aesthetic with unconventional elements that set it apart from its mass-produced counterpart.

The Super Famicom prototype is not the only rare Nintendo artifact to surface in recent years. Various prototypes, such as the Nintendo / Sony PlayStation and an unreleased wired version of the Wiimote for the GameCube, have garnered attention in the gaming community. These rare finds offer a glimpse into Nintendo’s design process and the evolution of their iconic consoles.

As the Super Famicom prototype continues to attract bidders on the auction site, it serves as a reminder of the rich history and innovation behind Nintendo’s beloved gaming systems. The evolution of prototypes and pre-production models offers collectors and enthusiasts a unique perspective on the development of iconic consoles. The allure of rare artifacts like the Super Famicom prototype highlights the ever-evolving landscape of video game history.


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