Pilotwings has always been somewhat of a technical showpiece for new hardware. It accompanied the Super Nintendo’s launch and it showed off some of the amazing effects and Mode-7 techniques that could take full advantage of the custom graphics chip inside the SNES. Five years later Pilotwings 64 debuted alongside the Nintendo 64, showcasing the new 3D graphics only capable on the new machine. However, when it came time for the GameCube and Wii launches, no Pilotwings games were released.
What many people didn’t know is that Factor 5, the development studio behind games like Super Turrican and the Star Wars Rogue Leader games, were hard at work on a new Pilotwings experience. The game was originally going to come out on the GameCube and was a departure from the typical Pilotwings flight training games of the past. It instead was to be set during the Cold War era and would have been a very different beast altogether. The Wii version transformed into a more standard Pilotwings affair, in that it would allow gamers to fly across the world and see famous sights, snap pictures, and even the time of day and weather would be based on real-world data. Nintendo declined both games in the end, but we now have footage of the Wii version that never made it to market. Unseen 64 and Did You Know Gaming have posted a great video detailing the game’s troubled journey.