E3 1997 Official N64 Controller

alxbly
Elite
Joined: 11:13 PM - Oct 18, 2008

9:56 PM - Jan 09, 2010 #1



This extremely rare and unique N64 controller was signed by Shigeru Miyamoto (top), Minoru Arakawa (middle) and Howard Lincoln (bottom) at one of the E3 shows, most likely in 1997 (although the date is uncertain). It was sold on eBay some years ago and this is the only photo of it that I've ever seen.

The history of the controller is unclear but sources indicate that the original eBay sellers sister had been working for Nintendo America for 15 years, and that she got this signed at E3 and had given it to her brother (the seller) afterwards.

The most unique aspect of the controller (apart from the three signatures, which must be extremely rare to see on one item) is the gold N64 logo :n64: in the centre. It's speculated that the controller was made especially for E3 and/or Nintendo Employees, making it extremely... no, excruciatingly rare! :-/ >_< I've never seen anything like it available commercially and I doubt that it was ever available to anyone except Nintendo employees.

I don't own this and I'm afraid I don't have any other information on it other than what you've just read. But, just look at it.... it's beautiful! :wub: :wub: :wub:
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Mop it up
Guardian
Joined: 5:20 PM - Aug 08, 2006

2:10 AM - Jan 10, 2010 #2

I've never heard about this before. Where did you find that image?
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alxbly
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Joined: 11:13 PM - Oct 18, 2008

6:06 AM - Jan 10, 2010 #3

Mop_it_up wrote:I've never heard about this before. Where did you find that image?
The image was forwarded to me. I've been trying to track down some additional info... but it's pretty hard to do. I guess I need some photos of E3 1997. Unsurprisingly, there's not many of them available. :-/
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alxbly
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Joined: 11:13 PM - Oct 18, 2008

6:08 PM - Jan 17, 2010 #4

Special thanks to an anonymous source for providing the information and photos of this controller. :) I'll move this across to our Guides, FAQs and Info section but thought it was worthwhile to enable an open dicussion about it first.



As stated in the first post, this controller appeared on eBay some years ago. Below is the text from the original auction.
Ebay Auction wrote:Gold N64 controller signed by SHIGERU MIYAMOTO!!! NR
Also signed by Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln

You are bidding on a one-of-its-kind (so far as I know) gold Nintendo 64 controller signed by Nintendo legends Shigeru Miyamoto, Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln.

My older sister has worked for Nintendo of America for over fifteen years and gave this controller to me at the 1997 (?) E3 in Atlanta. I know that Arakawa's and Lincoln's signatures are authentic because I have other items that they have autographed for me in person that I can compare them too. I am confident that Miyamoto's signature is authentic given that it is very similar to those on other items that I have seen on the internet that he has autographed. However, I have no way of verifiying their authenticity.

Shigeru Miyamoto has been called the "Spielberg" of video games. He is the creator of an all-star list of video game characters and franchises: Mario, Luigi, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, Yoshi, Wario, F-Zero, Kirby (?), Pikmin, Super Smash Bros., and the list goes on. He is extremely respected by his peers and the industry in general, as shown by his being the very first inductee into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame in 1998. Miyamoto's creative genius has played an enormous role in making video games a multi-billion dollar industry. He will go down in history as one of the most well known artists of the late twentieth century.

Minoru Arakawa was the president of Nintendo of America for 22 years--from 1980 to 2002. Upon accepting this position, he was charged with introducing Nintendo's coin-operated products to the U.S. market. Donkey Kong proved to be the break-through hit. After moving the newly formed NOA from Manhattan to its present location in Redmond, WA, he set about trying to revitalize the console video game market in the U.S. that had been run into the ground by Atari and Coleco. Armed with the "Nintendo Entertainment System" (NES), the rest is well-known history. Nintendo would become a giant in America, muscling its way beyond the likes of Disney and Sega in the hearts and minds of children under his watch.

Howard Lincoln was a roommate of Arakawa’s in college and first joined Nintendo of America as a legal councilor in 1983. He has guided NOA through many serious legal battles, particularly in its vulnerable early days. He represented Nintendo on the U.S. Senate floor during proceedings concerning video game violence in 1993. During most of his time with NOA he served as a vice-president and then as chairman. Lincoln semi-retired from Nintendo in 2001. He is currently the CEO of the Seattle Mariners.

It would be pretty difficult to argue that there have been three individuals who have had more to do with Nintendo's success over the past twenty-five years than these three men. I have no idea how much this controllor is worth now, nor how much it will be worth a few years from now, so I am starting the bidding at $0.99 with no reserve. I am not able to check my e-mail really often, but I will do my best to check it daily during the auction and will answer any questions.
After the buyer received the controller this message was sent:
Message from buyer to seller wrote:Dear Sir/Madam,
I while ago I won a gold Nintendo 64 controller from you that was signed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Howard Lincoln and Minora Arakawa from Nintendo. I just wondered, if possible, if you could tell me a little bit more about the history of this item? as when I received it I noticed that it is not just a 'standard gold controller', but also has a black base, and a gold 3D effect "N" logo in the centre of the controller. Was this a special E3 controller, or an "in-house" Nintendo controller? and when were the signatures aquired? Anything you could tell me about its origins etc would be much appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
And this response was received:
Message from seller to buyer wrote:I do not have a lot of information about the controller. Most of what I know I included in the auction's text when I listed it. It was given to me by my sister as a gift at E3 the last year it was held in Atlanta, GA (1996, I believe). My sister is an employee for Nintendo of America, so it is in good faith that I believe that the signatures are authentic. I have a book that Lincoln and Arakawa once signed for me in person and those signatures seemed to match those that are on the controller. Miyamoto's signature also seemed to match when compared with pictures of it that I found on the internet.

As you seem to already be aware of, solid gold controllers are fairly common, though I do not think they were ever sold to the general public. The gold and black design and, especially, the golden "N" logo seem to say that Nintendo went to a few extra lengths in producing this controller. If I had to bet, I would say that this was a special E3 controller. I, however, have no way to be certain.
There seems some confusion over what year the controller was at E3. The seller states in the above message that it was there in 1996 at Atlanta. However, the history of the locations of E3 shows tells us that if the seller got the location right, they must have gotten the year wrong as the 1996 show was held in Los Angeles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_E3#1996

If the seller is correct that it was "at E3 the last year it was held in Atlanta" that makes it feasible that it could have been E3 1998 but I can't find any way to confirm this. I also can't find any photos which show N64 controllers at either E3, but Nintendo was there in both years showing off it's N64 games so there must have been N64 controllers there. I'll continue to search for more history around this unique controller. If anybody has any magazines with images of E3 in 1996, 1997 or 1998 I'd be very appreciative if you could check them to see if there's any photographic evidence of this controller.

In the mean time, enjoy these images of E3 controller:



















Thanks again to the person who has decided to make information on this controller public and who provided the photos. :)
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OdinWolf
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OdinWolf
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Joined: 12:00 AM - May 30, 2010

12:09 AM - May 30, 2010 #5

I have stumbled upon the controller I will include in this picture. No, it's not a regular N64 gold controller like you'd think. This controller has a gold "N" like the N64 logo on it. I can't find anything on the internet about this controller. I heard from whom I plan to aquire it from that they received it at E3. They said they played a Starfox contest and won the controller. Does anyone have any documentation of this contest? Any other controllers like this out there? I think this could be super rare for hardcore N64 collectors.
Here's the picture:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b92/K ... ldcopy.jpg

Thanks for the help,
Odin
Oh, how much do you think this would be worth? How much would you actually pay for this? I am debating if I should buy it or not, the person I know with it wants quite a bit.
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l0whit07
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l0whit07
Established Member
Joined: 2:23 AM - Feb 13, 2010

8:46 PM - May 30, 2010 #6

Hey there, welcome to the forums, although it has been rather dead here lately.

Anyway that is a very nice find. I've only ever seen one similar to that one and you can read some info about it here:

http://s9.zetaboards.com/Nintendo_64_Fo ... 898/1/#new

What appears to be the only difference is that this one is autographed.

As far as value goes... I would say a lot... an exact value would have to be determined by the person who wanted it.
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OdinWolf
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OdinWolf
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Joined: 12:00 AM - May 30, 2010

2:06 AM - Jun 02, 2010 #7

Thanks for the response! I bought the controller for what I believe to be a really good deal. Where would be a good place to post it up for sale/trade? I know of eBay, of course, but something like this needs collector attention.
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OdinWolf
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OdinWolf
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Joined: 12:00 AM - May 30, 2010

2:09 AM - Jun 02, 2010 #8

I have obtained the same controller, but it hasn't been signed. How much did you pay for yours? Here's a picture, by the way:

Here is a quote from the eBay auction:
"The really interesting thing about this item is that the controller I am including is a GOLD LIMITED EDITION model, that was only available for winning a Starfox 64 contest at the E3 show (which is how I got this one)."
This is an interesting tidbit of information not previously mentioned in your post. Maybe this will help with the year of E3? I have contacted the seller for further information.
The really lucky part was that this controller was never mentioned in the title of the sale, but only in the body. I was able to buy just the controller for a certain ammount and I gave the seller a grey controller (oddly enough). I think I may have gotten an absolute steal. I am looking up more info on this controller. I may decide to sell or trade it at some point, since I am more of a console collector.
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Mop it up
Guardian
Joined: 5:20 PM - Aug 08, 2006

7:38 PM - Jun 08, 2010 #9

Too bad my Nintendo Power magazines are all packed away, otherwise I might search through them for a mention of this controller...
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ddr2nite
Veteran
Joined: 4:28 PM - Aug 10, 2010

2:05 PM - Oct 10, 2010 #10

I want this controller! If anyone knows of ANY availability - or even someone (other than Finngamer) that currently possesses one, please post here so I can get in touch with them!

(money is of no concern)
Click here to check out my N64 collection.
N64 Controllers: 30/30 Completed | ASCII Controllers: 15/15 Completed
N.A. Boxes: 8/8 Completed | Japan Boxes: 21/21 Completed
Full NTSC-J CIB Set: 198/198 Completed


"trust me, we all started with just one or two games
and then things kinda got out of hand
" - MK II
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