Wii Remote

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The Wii Remote is the Wii's primary controller. Many development revisions of it exist, and its development history is one of the most well-known parts of the Wii's overall development history, starting out as a project separate from the Wii itself.



One of the two released images of the V-09. Front view.

The V-09 is a prototype controller device for the GameCube; specifically early DDH units, due to the RJ-45 connector. It may be an early Wii Remote prototype, which if so would make it the earliest prototype known to exist. It has a very different appearance from other Nintendo hardware, and no board photos are available to indicate who designed it, so it's unclear if Nintendo actually made it or if it was produced by another GameCube developer licensee.

There are rumours that Factor 5 tested prototype motion controllers with their early GameCube titles during development. This would line up with this controller having a connector for early (1999-2001 or so) DDH units.

Dev Tool/UI Tool Version 1

This is the first known controller in the "Dev Tool"/"UI Tool" series, a series of prototype controllers which were distributed by Nintendo to third-party developers from July 2005 to mid-2006. Being the first model in the series, this version of the controller was distributed starting in July 2005.

Little is known about this particular model, however, the Prototype Revolution SDK includes a document which lists some details about this controller in order to differentiate it from later models. The Dev Tool Version 1 package for third parties apparently included a remote prototype controller (officially called Game Remote Control, or "GRC") connecting over the GameCube memory card port, an adapter for the GameCube controller port to a memory card slot to connect the GRC to the controller port, and "TV Markers". TV Markers were an early version of the Sensor Bar; instead of using a single bar, two marker units were placed at an equal distance from each other on top of or at the bottom of the TV.

Some Version 1 TV markers were marked "Long distance"; this type of marker performed poorly and had to be returned to Nintendo for replacement.

Dev Tool/UI Tool Version 2

Version 2 of the Dev Tool series was distributed starting in August 2005. It is unknown how exactly it differed from Version 1, and very little information is available on it. All that is known is that the TV marker units and GameCube connection were the same as that of Version 1.

Tokyo Game Show 2005 Remote

Official promotional image of the TGS 2005 Wii Remote.

The Tokyo Game Show 2005 Wii Remote was shown at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show, in between the release of the Dev Tool Version 2 and Version 3. Its buttons match those of Version 3, plus an added power button and a different extension controller port type. It is unknown if this version of the remote as shown at the show was actually functional or not. While Wii game demos were present at the show, they were demonstrated privately, and as such it is unknown which controller they used. Overall, the TGS 2005 remote seems to be a "retail-spec" version of the Dev Tool Version 2/3.

Dev Tool WB

Possible image of the Dev Tool WB from a Wii developer presentation.

The Dev Tool WB is a remote which is only known due to being mentioned in an SDK document. It was reportedly available in gray and white colours, and was wireless (with "WB" likely standing for "WaveBird", indicating that the controller used the GameCube WaveBird RF adapter for wireless communication). It is unknown exactly when this remote was distributed, and if it was distributed to third-party developers or not; however, it is likely that it was distributed to some developers as it was mentioned in a public SDK document. The Dev Tool WB may have been the demonstration version of the remote used at the aforementioned private game demos in late 2005.

A presentation present in additional documents related to the Wii SDK includes a picture of a man holding a pre-final Wii Remote with a white facade and black buttons; this may be the Dev Tool WB due to its colour matching the Dev Tool WB but its appearance not matching any other remote.

Dev Tool/UI Tool Version 3

Dev Tool V3 kit sold at auction in 2018.

The Dev Tool V3 was distributed starting in November 2005. The leaked Prototype Revolution SDK is for the Dev Tool V3; as such, detailed documents on its operation and setup are available, as well as libraries for the Dolphin SDK. The Dev Tool V3 connects to a GameCube development kit via the standard controller port, and is the first known prototype controller package to include Nunchuk support. The extension port on the Dev Tool V3 is a phone-style port, rather than the custom port present on the final or the custom port present on the TGS 2005 controller. The controller's button layout is seemingly identical to that of the TGS controller, minus the power button. The two lower buttons (which on the final remote are 1 and 2) are marked as "a" and "b".

Other versions

Dev Tool V4 sold on eBay in 2019.

Other prototype versions of the Wii Remote include:

  • Prototype revisions seen in various images
  • Dev Tool V3.1
  • Dev Tool V4 (black remote similar to final but with cosmetic changes. Has pause and select (represented by an arrow) buttons instead of +/-. It's the only piece of prototype Wii hardware which is somewhat common, having appeared multiple times on eBay and Yahoo Japan; it's possible that unlike most prototype hardware, Nintendo didn't ask for these back.)
  • RD3 (seemingly identical to final except for technical changes)