In an interview promoting the NES Mini, the developer of Balloon Fight discussed how he had pitched a very similar device to Nintendo over 10 years ago. According to Yoshio Sakamoto, he suggested that Nintendo release a Game Boy Advance that could play games on a TV. Designed to look like an original Famicom, Sakamoto wanted it to launch alongside the NES Classics range for the GBA. While this idea never got past the planning stages, it may have inspired the NES Mini. Check out the full interview here.
By the way, what are your impressions of the Balloon Fight that is on the Classic Mini?
S: It’s perfect.
– Perfect (laughs)
S: I actually said that we should make something like this 10 years ago.
S: I said it would be interesting to make a Famicom shaped Gameboy Advance that played games on the television. It got all the way to the mock-up stage.
– There was a Famicom 20th anniversary series released for the Gameboy Advance.
S: That’s right. The idea flowed from that. I occasionally have free time.
– So you made the mock-up?
S: I did.
– What was the size compared to the Classic Mini?
S: It was around the same size.
– So you would put in Gameboy Advance games and play them?
S: Yes. I didn’t get that far though. I just made the systems appearance… But the box was also made.
– You made the box? The Classic Mini’s box also looks like it’s from the era of the original Famicom which is pretty cool.
S: For sure. We also talked to the artwork people 10 years ago and thought about how small the package was.