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The NES before it was the NES (and the knitting machine that almost was)


Before the Famicom became the Nintendo Entertainment system, Nintendo of America had plans to launch it as the "Advanced Video System," a totally different looking device with weird, weird peripherals. And before Howard Phillips was the bow-tied foil to Nester in Nintendo Power comics, he was a real Nintendo executive trying to sell the "AVS" to retailers.

"Gamemaster Howard" posted a vintage brochure on Facebook, full of hypothetical, prototyped AVS designs that never made it to market. Some of this stuff is on display in the Nintendo World Store, but now you can see it as Nintendo wanted it to be seen back in early 1985, complete with pompous ad copy and absurd peripherals – and the weird wireless controller with the square D-pad. "Glad we punted on both the design (not as comfortable or as precise as the D-pad) and the IR (inconsistent performance) for the NES controllers (best controller ever designed?)," Phillips noted in a Facebook comment.

Phillips also posted an ad for an unreleased NES peripheral from 1987 – a knitting machine that interfaced with the system for its designs. "Mr. A (Arakawa) [Nintendo of America president at the time] asked me with just 30 minutes notice to give Toys R Us Chairman Charles Lazarus a live demo," Phillips said. "Likely one of my least genuinely enthusiastic demos." See that gloriously Nintendo-centric ad after the break.

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