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Rare PlayStation prototype unearthed?

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We’ve told you before that Sony’s PlayStation was borne out of a failed partnership with Nintendo. It was meant to be a device that added CD-Rom to Nintendo’s popular 16 bit machine, but the project was cancelled at the 11th hour.

As we said then:

“Nintendo was looking for a way to improve its 16-bit SNES console – and partnered with Sony to develop a CD-based add-on. It would have allowed that console to have more fully featured games, with FMV. Unfortunately after years of development, licencing disagreements ensued and Nintendo shocked the world by partnering with Phillips instead (resulting in some terrible Phillips CDi games based on Nintendo properties), just a day after Sony showed off its standalone SNES CD system at CES.”

There were apparently just 200 units made, but all were ordered to be destroyed. We weren’t sure that any still existed. One has apparently been found (via IB Times) . Feast your eyes on gaming history:

A possibly working prototype of the machine has been found, with its owner claiming that his father used to work with a company that worked with Nintendo (which sounds like nonsense, to be frank). When ordered to destroy the system, he kept it instead. It’s either a bloody good fake, or one of the most valuable relics in gaming history.

The console is complete; with controllers, an unmarked cartridge and an unmarked CD. While he hasn’t the power supply, the owners says he’s trying to source on to see if the console still works – and it would be great to see what treasures await on the media.

This is the failure that led to the PlayStation, and the rest really is history.

Last Updated: July 3, 2015


  1. Avi

    July 3, 2015 at 13:07

    Uncharted, Mario Style…. Could,have been


    • konfab

      July 3, 2015 at 13:35

      I am quite glad, Playstation would be nothing but a platform for filthy casuals, and Sony would be bankrupt.


  2. Admiral Chief's Adventure

    July 3, 2015 at 13:21

    Ewwwww that beige decay


    • HvR

      July 3, 2015 at 14:06

      Once you’ve become beiged you know you’ve aged.


    • oVg "I hate Portals" - Geralt

      July 3, 2015 at 14:31

      Turns yellow over time.


  3. Ottokie

    July 3, 2015 at 14:09

    I hope that thing fires up.


  4. CypherGate

    July 3, 2015 at 14:20



  5. oVg "I hate Portals" - Geralt

    July 3, 2015 at 14:30

    While poor Squaresoft did not know who to align with. Nintendo, even back then did not want to move with the times lol

    Now we look at those 3 FF7 disks and think to ourselves, a modern firmware update is twice the size.


  6. oVg "I hate Portals" - Geralt

    July 3, 2015 at 14:33

    Meanwhile over at SEGA HQ. Little did they know.


  7. Marc O Polo

    July 3, 2015 at 17:01

    Power supply should be a piece of cake to find


  8. Francois Knoetze

    July 3, 2015 at 18:55

    sniff that is beautiful…


  9. Ogreatgames.com

    July 3, 2015 at 23:32

    This was ingenious. I wish Sony and Nintendo had stayed together long enough to release it, that would have been a wild success. So much so, that Nintendo and Sony would have stayed teamed up to make more great consoles/games.


  10. TheArkhamPanther

    July 3, 2015 at 23:39

    I don’t know looking at the video it looks real


    • Wesley Fick

      July 4, 2015 at 15:34

      Having the NX port at the bottom seals the deal. It is genuine. Now we wait with bated breath to see if it works.


  11. Wesley Fick

    July 4, 2015 at 15:40

    The story continues on the NeoGAF thread about the console (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1074500). Polygon’s contacted the guy in question who is now taking it to a retro games store in Denver to have it looked at and see about power supply spares.

    Also, the link between his dad and the company he worked for are also legit. His dad worked for a company that Olaf Olafsson headed up between 2001 and 2009. In the GAF thead there are links to the patents relating to the console as well as a guide that delves into the specs. Some people have also found claims from old stories that Olafsson’s office at the company had a prototype Nintendo Playstation in it, and it may even be this exact one.

    Also, if the disc drive works, it’ll also be the oldest working prototype of the first DVD drive designed for commercial use.


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