Back in October last year we reported that the only surviving Nintendo PlayStation prototype would be going up for sale and it has now been confirmed that this auction is finally happening. Bidding will open on February 14th with the final auction occurring between March 5th and 7th.
“It’s the first time this prototype has ever been offered at public auction before,” Heritage Auctions consignment director Valarie McLeckie told Polygon. “Nintendo and Sony are arguably two of the biggest competitors in video games today. It’s just a little baffling to some to see Nintendo and Sony sharing the same console — and that it has the namesake of the PlayStation itself.”
Way back in the 1980’s Nintendo wished to harness the power of a new technology known as the ‘compact disc’ and brokered a deal with Sony which would see companies team up and merge their technical know-how to create new CD-ROM peripheral, the Super NES CD-ROM System, and a brand new console, named the PlayStation.
However, Nintendo forgot to the check the small print in the contract until the very last moment, but when the did they saw that the terms were very much in Sony’s favour so the deal was cancelled, but not before around 200 Nintendo PlayStation prototype consoles had been made. All of the prototypes have vanished apart from this one unit.
The current owner, Terry Diebold, picked up the console as part of a lot from a bankruptcy sale of goods from an American banking company called Advanta. It is suggested the console managed to find it’s way there as former Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson worked at the bank after he left Sony. The console is operational and plays cartridges and has a PlayStation branded version of the SNES controller.
After the two companies went their separate ways Sony reforged their work in to create their own console, also called the PlayStation, and the rest is history. It’s weird to think that the console that many of you now have stashed under your television owes it’s existence to a failed business deal, and that Nintendo inadvertently created one of their biggest competitors.
As for the price, “We don’t have any sample as to what this could possible sell for,” McLeckie said. “The market’s going to have to dictate the value on this one.”
However, we do know Diebold has already turned down an offer of 1.2 million dollars for the device.