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Nintendo shows off 3DS prototypes

One smaller 'minimum' model and another with removable buttons

It's always fascinating, we think, to see how games consoles evolved in their development stages before finally arriving at the final product and in our hands.

Nintendo's has shown off a couple of 3DS prototypes that it made during development of the stereoscopic handheld, describing how they helped shape the console we're all getting in March.

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The first one pictured here was referred to as the "minimum model", Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata explains in the latest Iwata Asks. It was used as a target for how small the new console could be.

"No matter how hard you try, there is a limit to how small you can make something," explains Iwata, and no matter how much Nintendo would try, this would be the smallest the console could be.

But, Nintendo explains, this model lacked cameras, the analogue slider and the all-important 3D screen, the addition of which bulked out the final product considerable, as you can see.

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The second prototype shown looks like a standard DS Lite with removable directional buttons, and was used to experiment with the placement of the analogue slider and the traditional D-pad.

"You could change the location of the Circle Pad and +Control Pad like building blocks," said Iwata, as his colleagues described the debate over whether the slider should be above or below the D-pad.

"Some even said that we should get rid of the +Control Pad and just have the Circle Pad. In the end, we put the Circle Pad up above," said Nintendo's hardware design man Kenichi Sugino, who also said Nintendo joked about releasing the final console like this so that players could decide for themselves.

The final, slick, 3DS will be in your hands on March 25 in UK, and March 27 in US.

[ SOURCE: Iwata Asks ]

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