Take a trip back to 1997 with an incredibly rare, never-opened Nintendo 64 Disk Drive dev kit

YouTuber Shane Luis has tweeted some amazing photos of a new-in-box game development kit for the Nintendo 64’s Disk Drive (64DD), a very rare peripheral never released outside of Japan that played games off proprietary floppy disks. You can (and should!) read look through the whole thread starting with this tweet, but I’m going to share some of the photos here in this article.

Here’s what the box looks like — nothing flashy.

I was asked to verify and photograph a Nintendo 64 Disk Drive (64DD) Development Kit from a private video game collector. The system was new in box and needed to be carefully documented.

This is what it looks like to unbox one. pic.twitter.com/X2PflhtemW

— Shane Luis (@RerezTV) March 24, 2021

Inside that dark blue box on the top right were five 64DD Development Disks, which were a dark blue instead of the gray used for retail games.

64DD Development Disks are blue unlike the retail games released in Japan that were grey. pic.twitter.com/Q6VFuCDnmn

— Shane Luis (@RerezTV) March 24, 2021

The development kit also included a special adapter to let developers plug in two N64 cartridges at once instead of just one. When everything was connected together, here’s what that looked like:

When attached together they mount directly on the top of a Nintendo 64 through the cartridge slot like this. pic.twitter.com/oCitZEqyUz

— Shane Luis (@RerezTV) March 24, 2021

Here’s the 64DD itself, which has a blue trim around the disk slot used to signify it as a development device that matches the color used for the development disks:

The top of the unit is designed to sit directly under a Nintendo 64 console. They connect through the port you can see on the top. On the bottom you’ll find a fastener designed to lock the two together. pic.twitter.com/792Vy8GYZY

— Shane Luis (@RerezTV) March 24, 2021

And here’s the whole 64DD development system connected together and attached to a Nintendo 64. It’s huge! (Though seemingly not as huge as the PS5.)

When combined all together you’re ready to start developing 64DD games!

Unfortunately this system was never used and the 64DD platform failed to take off. If the 64DD was a success who knows what might have happened! pic.twitter.com/GWDjC2J3GA

— Shane Luis (@RerezTV) March 24, 2021

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to see a 64DD myself since the peripheral wasn’t much of a success (only nine games were released for it), and it only came out in Japan. But these photos might be the next best thing and are just a plain interesting look at something from Nintendo’s past.

Again, I strongly recommend scrolling through the whole thread in full or checking out his album of photos on the Internet Archive.

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