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Fabled early '90s Nintendo / Sony PlayStation console prototype goes up for auction, could fetch more than US$1.2 million

The gaming industry's unicorn is up for auction and could easily fetch a seven-figure fortune. (Image Source: Heritage Auctions)
The gaming industry's unicorn is up for auction and could easily fetch a seven-figure fortune. (Image Source: Heritage Auctions)
The prototype that led to the launch of the original PlayStation back in 1994 was a hybrid console made in collaboration with Nintendo circa 1992. It is said that only 200 of these prototypes were made, and only one survived throughout the years. This fabled unicorn is now up for auction and could end up fetching upwards of US$2 million.

Back in the late ‘80s, Nintendo was the most popular game console maker and Sega was the only real competitor. While game cartridges seemed to be more than enough for the 8-bit games of the ‘80s, CDs were starting to emerge as a better format, so both console makers started to develop CD addons. Sega was first to release a CD addon for the Mega Drive / Genesis console in 1991, and Nintendo had to ask Sony (one of the original creators of the CD format) to help with the development of a CD-based addon for the SNES console. Besides the CD addon, the two companies also worked on a hybrid console that accepted both cartridges and CDs called PlayStation. Unfortunately, licensing disputes ended this collaboration prematurely, but Sony continued to work on the CD-based PlayStation and managed to release the console in 1994. The rest, as they say, is history.

It turns out that around 200 hybrid Nintendo / Sony PlayStation consoles were ever produced for testing purposes and most of these were destroyed when the two companies parted ways. In fact, the only known prototype to still exist is in Dan Diebold’s possession, making it something akin to a mythical artifact that is extremely valuable. How valuable exactly? Diebold said that he already turned down a private offer of US$1.2 million and is expecting to get more with the help of Heritage Auctions that is currently accepting bids on the fabled item.

This auction will be ending in 21 days and the current highest bid is US$350,000. The package includes the console, a controller, a “boot cart” that also enables the CD system, TV cables and a power chord. There is also a mini LCD that shows song track number and the system is supposedly able to play music CD while playing a cartridge game, in addition to playing games from Super Discs. Will this fetch more than an exotic car? There is a good chance we can see bids higher than US$2 million.

Rear connectors (Source: TechSpot)
Rear connectors (Source: TechSpot)
The console acts as an audio CD player since it integrates an audio jack and volume wheel. (Source: TechSpot)
The console acts as an audio CD player since it integrates an audio jack and volume wheel. (Source: TechSpot)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Fabled early '90s Nintendo / Sony PlayStation console prototype goes up for auction, could fetch more than US$1.2 million
Bogdan Solca, 2020-02-14 (Update: 2020-02-14)
Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - News Editor
I stepped into the wonderous IT&C world when I was around 7. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, be them from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I like to keep myself up to date with all the new technologies that get released at an ever increasing rate these days. I'm also an avid SciFi reader, an astrophysics aficionado and, as of late, a crypto geek.