Do you remember the N64 DD? Probably not, because the add-on to the popular console only ever came out in Japan. So imagine how surprised the gaming community was to discover that an English version of the peripheral exists.
YouTuber MetalJesusRocks thought he was in possession of two N64 DD developer units. But much to his surprise, upon plugging in one of the units English text appeared on-screen. He was initially puzzled because the DD never made it overseas. Once news of the apparently English N64 DD began to spread, Mark DeLoura, a former software engineer at Nintendo reached out to clarify things.
What MetalJesus Rocks had obtained was an English retail version of the console that had undergone quality assurance testing. It was never released stateside, but it’s clear that Nintendo had planned on giving gamers in other regions than Japan a chance to experience the added power of the disc drive.
The N64 DD was a magnetic disc drive that connected to the bottom of the N64. It was supposed to give the system more power and let it play disc-based games. It saw release in Japan but only ten games were ever released for it.
It’s a relic from Nintendo’s past. One of the failed peripherals it released that went the same route of the Virtual Boy and the Power Glove. It’s a fascinating look into the history of the Big N. The company is known for heavily utilizing nostalgia, as shown by its release of the NES Mini this holiday, but it tends to keep its failures under wraps, preferring to turn a blind eye rather than shine the spotlight on them.
Regardless, it’s rare that we get looks into unreleased hardware such as this. For more on Nintendo’s endeavors past, present, and future, stay tuned to The Nerd Stash.