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Fans Got Their Hands On An Early Nintendo Switch Prototype

An original prototype of the Nintendo Switch has made its way into the hands of Forest of Illusion, a group dedicated to preserving the history of Nintendo. The group posted an image of the prototype on Twitter, where fans are able to see just how the console's design changed during the year before its release.

Console prototypes are always being sought after by hardcore fans, and it's typically exciting for fans and collectors to get a look at earlier prototypes of their favorite consoles and games. As explained by Forest of Illusion, this specific Switch console was bought from a seller in Hong Kong. Forest of Illusion also posted a comparison picture of the top of this prototype Switch, so fans could really see the differences. You can see that the power button, volume buttons, and even the screws were changed within that last year of development. One user commented that the prototype's dev kit menu could be helpful in the future for researching homebrew games. Another commenter mentioned that the dev menu seen in Forest of Illusion's pictures looks similar to the one seen an image from an older Switch ad, which accidentally left the dev menu visible on the screen.

According to Forest of Illusion, this is the oldest Nintendo Switch prototype fans have been able to get a good look at, dating from around April 2016. Forest of Illusion previously shared a leaked image of early Switch schematics that showed a very different console. This design featured an oval screen and no detachable controllers. However, nobody has seemingly gotten their hands on a physical copy of that prototype, so it's unclear if that iteration ever made it past the drawing board.

Forest of Illusion, which is primarily made up of a team of two people, is known for releasing and preserving codes for Nintendo consoles and games. They also post updates about anything that deals with Nintendo hardware, making them a go-to source for programmers. The group also collects anything and everything Nintendo, with an emphasis on consoles and cartridges from the development period. Its website has code dumps for what the group finds, as well as some links to similar sites and projects.

It is still unclear whether or not the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro will actually be released in the near future. However, the prototypes and schematics unearthed by Forest of Illusion may give gamers an idea of how much design work really goes into finalizing a product like this.