The Nintendo Wii Remote seemed like an unusual controller design when the system launched back in 2006, but it quickly proved to be a selling point for the system. The Wii directly targeted casual gamers, and the remote was fairly intuitive. However, it seems that it took Nintendo a few tries before coming up with the final design. A new leak from last year's "gigaleak" files has revealed multiple early Wii-Mote designs that ended up unused by Nintendo. There are five designs in total, with each featuring some very different button layouts. It seems Nintendo was struggling to decide how many buttons to include and where to place them!
The images were shared online by the Forest of Illusion Twitter account. All five can be found in the Tweet embedded below.
Early Wii-Mote designs. pic.twitter.com/GYAb9dLqdS— Forest of Illusion (@forestillusion) July 20, 2021
One of the most interesting changes from the final design and these concepts is the "Power" button. The final design featured a rounded shape in the top left corner, but all of these designs have a small, rectangular option; it honestly looks like it would have been a bit of a pain to press! The third concept might be the one that diverges the most from the final design, offering "L" and "R" buttons flanking the middle button ("A" on the final design and "B" on the concept). That placement might have been a bit cumbersome, and could have led to accidental button pushes for those with larger hands.
The Nintendo Wii went on to become one of the best-selling video game consoles of all-time, selling more than 100 million units worldwide. That success never would have been possible with a controller that didn't hook players from the outset, as the Wii-Mote did. Nintendo is known for being a tight-lipped company, and things like early concept designs are rarely showcased to the public. As such, leaks like this one give us the kind of perspective that would otherwise be impossible. None of these designs are vastly different from the final controller, so clearly Nintendo knew the shape it wanted from an early stage. Still, it's fascinating to see what could have been!
Were you a fan of the Nintendo Wii? What do you think of these early designs for the Wii Remote? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!