One Of The Very First Super Nintendo/Playstation Prototypes Has Come Up For Auction
The thought of Sony and Nintendo – the two brands whose battles throughout the late '90s and early '00s have come to largely define the gaming landscape as we know it today, working together on a console feels about as foreign as the idea of Coke and Pepsi developing a drink together. Particularly given the creatoive direction both companies have gone in to distguish themselves as different from the other.
But once upon a time, with console gaming in in its infancy, there existed a landscape where Sony and Nintendo very briefly worked together. In fact, the electrical giant teamed up with the games developer to create what was, essentially, the very first 'Play Station'. And one of the prototypes — perhaps the rarest, most valuable piece of gaming memorabilia ever surfaced, has been put up for auction.
According to gaming outlet Kotaku, the console was developed as a collaboration between the two brands in 1991, with Sony considering entering a gaming market that Nintendo was already coming to dominate with the NES. The console, dubbed the 'Play Station', was effectively the forebearer of both the Super Nintendo and the PS1, capable of using both cartridges and CD-Roms to boot games, and making use of basically the same controller as went on to be used in the SNES.
Eventually, disputes between the two companies forced the cancellation of the project — which is a crying shame to anyone who grew up loving their PS1 but secretly wishing that they could also play Goldeneye on it. Who knows, maybe if the two had stuck together, a Playstation/N64 hybrid could have eventually surfaced.
Unfortunately, that'll forever remain a hypothetical. Sony went on to develop their own Playstation, and the near-three-decade sales war that ensued, one that continues to this day with the addition of Microsoft, is gaming folklore.
The ultra-rare proto-Station was found by Terry Diebold, a memorabilia collector who bought it in an auctioned of abandoned property owned by a former Sony executive. News of the console surfaced after his son found it in 2015, and since then, they've spent both time and money touring it around the world for people to see. Now, they've decided to cash in on their find.
“I can’t keep losing money,” Diebold told Kotaku in an email. "I’ve put a lot of work into this by traveling with it and we have made nothing on it. Every trip that we... have taken with it has cost us money out of pocket."
The console will go up for sale at Heritage auctions, and given the offeres Diebold has already had on it, expect it to hammer for at least a seven-figure sum. "We turned down 1.2 million from someone in Norway," Diebold said, before conceding that once he pays tax on it, pays off his existing debts and splits the sum 50/50 with his son, he'll pretty much end up back where he started financially.