Before the Switch, Nintendo had a portable Gamecube hybrid

Nintendo was laying plans for its innovative Switch handheld-console hybrid as far back as the early 2000s GameCube era.

1 minute & 12 seconds read time

Somewhere in Nintendo's secret R&D vault lies a weird prototype GameCube that's basically an old-school Switch. We know the Wii, 3DS, and Wii U were successors to the Switch, but plans for the unique transforming handheld-console hybrid stretches back nearly 2 decades.

Before the Switch, Nintendo had a portable Gamecube hybrid 434

New leaked data sets confirm Nintendo was experimenting with a portable handheld GameCube that also allowed for at-home play. The leaks show NIntendo had schematics for a portable handheld Gamecube that would play discs, and could be slotted into a cradle. The dock/cradle had A/V output, GameCube controller ports, built-in wireless for online play, and USB ports.

Before the Switch, Nintendo had a portable Gamecube hybrid 1

Nintendo also experimented with Tako (part of Project Vegas), an innovative 6th-gen system that'd compete with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Tako, which means octopus in Japan, would boast higher-end horsepower for the HDTV era and connected directly with existing Nintendo handhelds, including the proposed GameCube handheld, the DS, and the Game Boy Advance. There's not a lot of info on Tako or the GameCube handheld, but the ideas were pretty ambitious for the time.

Tako could be resurrected in some form when Nintendo moves on to the Switch successor and provide a nexus that connects Switch systems, 3DS handhelds, and maybe even mobile devices together in the same ecosystem.

Reports say Nintendo plans to release a new Switch model sometime in 2021, but it won't be an upgraded Switch Pro or Switch 4K model; expect higher-end resolution and a better screen instead of next-gen performance.

Before the Switch, Nintendo had a portable Gamecube hybrid 2
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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