In context: The GameCube and Wii are known to share somewhat similar internals. Apparently so much so that the GameCube was used for testing before the Wii console was actually ready. A prototype Wii remote and Nunchuck has sold at auction and has been confirmed to be legitimate hardware.

Even though it does not seem all that long ago, the Nintendo Wii launched in 2006 and was notoriously difficult to buy for a short period after its debut. Following an auction, it has been discovered that the now iconic WiiMote controller that brought motion input and pointing capabilities was originally built for GameCube as a prototype.

Instead of connecting via Bluetooth, the prototype unit sold at auction for $660 has a wire with GameCube controller connector. The Nunchuck joystick connects via an ethernet cable to the bottom of the WiiMote instead of with a proprietary connector. A sensor bar connects to a GameCube through an empty memory card slot. Physical buttons appear as though they are identical to the ones found on a Game Boy Advance SP.

Unfortunately, the winner of the auction has not been able to get the prototype hardware to actually function with a GameCube despite having the right connections. It is possible, if not very likely, that a custom software update is required to add functionality to the non-standard controller or that there is an undetected hardware problem. No developer documentation was included.

Developer James Montagna of WayForward has confirmed that the controller is a legitimate prototype unit that was used before the Wii was publicly launched. Not only is this unit a real piece of hardware, there have been other revisions of it as well that could find their way to auctions at some point in the future.