North American Prototype of the N64DD found in Seattle
A former game developer from Sierra, and avid game collector, Jason Lindsey, has made an interesting find this week. He claims to have purchased an American prototype of the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive, an N64 add-on that never made it's way out of Japan. Apparently, only 50 of the units still exist in the wild, and were used at Nintendo of America (in Redmond Washington, a short drive from Seattle where they were found) during a 1997 Developer's Conference. It seems these systems were not dev consoles, but actual retail prototypes, meaning sadly they cannot play developer software. Which leads us to the most important discovery: There was a blue disc inside the unit, and these blue discs are only used for in-development N64DD games. Lindsey says he's currently trying to find a way to see just what mystery game is on that disc, and will make a video when he unearths more information.
Interesting changes from the Japanese N64DD units:
Instead of kanji characters asking to players to insert a disc, this system's boot up screen is entirely in English.
The sticker on the underside reads "Nintendo 64 Disk Drive", instead of the final build's DD64.
It also is dated 1997, (which matches up with the aforementioned conference) while the Japanese consoles are dated from 1999.