Collector uncovers US version of ultra-rare Nintendo 64 add-on

nintendo n64 prototype english version discovered 64 dd
Jason Lindsey/Ars Technica
Many of us have fond memories of the Nintendo 64, the console that brought us games ranging from Goldeneye 007 to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. However, fewer people are familiar with its doomed disk drive peripheral, the 64DD.

Despite being announced ahead of the Nintendo 64’s initial release, the 64DD was hit by a string of delays, and ended up only releasing in Japan. Most assumed that an American version of the hardware was never produced, but that hypothesis has now been disproved.

Former Sierra Entertainment employee Jason Lindsey took to a “Rare and Obscure Gaming” forum hosted on Assembler Games to share his most recent acquisition. The collector had purchased an English-language version of the 64DD, according to a report from Ars Technica.

Photographs attached to Lindsey’s post depict the console booting up with English instructions rather than Japanese. The going theory is that the console is an early prototype of retail hardware, rather than a development kit — making it a rare find indeed.

Lindsey is based in Seattle, just a matter of miles from Nintendo of America’s headquarters. While he hasn’t shared specifics on how he came into possession of the 64DD, it’s not difficult to imagine how it could have originally been sourced from someone working at Nintendo while the project was in development.

The 64DD apparently came with a blue disk inside, which the hardware is unable to read. There’s hope that this could contain a previously unseen game — while plenty of titles were announced for the add-on, only nine were officially released.

If Lindsey chooses to sell his system on to another collector, he could be in line to make some serious money. Japanese 64DD systems regularly sell for more than $500 on eBay, and the rarity of an American retail prototype guarantees that this system could command an even higher price.

Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PlayStation 4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for November 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

Every rumor about the PS5, including a new game from Luminous Productions

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Computing

Want to game on your Chromebook? Here's where to start

Chromebooks aren't great for gaming, but there are a few titles that most machines can run. There's a surprisingly diverse crowd that includes role-playing games, action side-scrollers, and puzzlers.
Gaming

Dominate in multiplayer with a few of our favorite 'Battlefield 5' weapons

Here are some of the best weapons you can use to get the upper hand in Battlefield 5's multiplayer, including assault rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, and anti-tank tools.
Gaming

Playing ‘Battlefield V’ on an $800 Nvidia card is stunning. And disappointing

‘Battlefield V’ is the first game to use Nvidia’s ray tracing support, now available with the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards. The feature can, in an ideal scenario, make the game look better, but the performance hit may not be…
Product Review

‘Let’s Go Pikachu’ and ‘Let’s Go Eevee’ feel like true ‘Pokémon Go’ RPGs

Pokémon: Let’s Go’s simplified reimagining of Pokémon Yellow has a great balance of old and new mechanics. It has a streamlined approach that makes it easy to get into, but depth remains for longtime fans.
Gaming

How to become a master assassin and perfect the art of execution in 'Hitman 2'

'Hitman 2' introduces new and improved story missions with a scale that can feel overwhelming if you're not prepared. Learn everything you need to know to obtain a high score while remaining unnoticed.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…
Gaming

The best Gamestop Black Friday deals in 2018

Gamestop is hosting one heck of a Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotion period, highlighted by excellent deals on games, gaming consoles, and gaming accessories. We combed through everything and have all the best Gamestop Black Friday…
Gaming

Valve responds after ‘Artifact’ slammed for taking microtransactions too far

Streamers and gamers heavily criticized the monetization model of Artifact, as the digital card game may have taken microtransactions too far. Valve quickly responded to the feedback, with planned changes to the game's public beta.
Gaming

‘Darksiders III’ gets its own Fury-led ASMR series, and it’s weird

Darksiders III is out in less than a week, and to celebrate the game's impending release, publisher THQ Nordic has released an ASMR video starring Fury. The video focuses on her fire abilities.
Deals

Check out the best Xbox One deals and bundles for November 2018

Microsoft's consoles are just as capable of streaming movies as they are of playing the latest games. Check out our top Xbox One deals and bundles, which include new and upcoming triple-A games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76.