Your eyes do not deceive you. What you’re looking at above isn’t a fever dream or the latest in Chinese bootleg technology, but a piece of history. Long before Sony was a dominant player in the industry with the PlayStation, Nintendo was poised to make the leap into next-gen with a console that was equipped to use revolutionary CD-ROM technology. Come 1991 though, and the deal with between Sony and Nintendo was off because reasons.
Anyway, Sony would eventually pivot into gaming territory, take a gamble and reap the rewards of a massively successful brand that established their presence as a tentpole of the industry. For a brief time in the 1990s, it looked like Nintendo were truly on the cusp of going all-in with a CD-ROM equipped console, resulting in a prototype of the device that has been sought after by collectors with the deepest of pockets for years now.
That prototype, the titular Nintendo Play Station, was snapped up by Terry Diebold in 2009 after he spotted it in an auction for abandoned property from a former Sony executive. According to Kotaku, it was left to gather dust in his attic until Thiebold’s son spotted it and informed dear old dad of the valuable piece of gaming history that he had in his possession, resulting in the treasure going on tour around the world.
Basically, the Mona Lisa of video game technology has seen the world as its legend was amplified at conventions. Thiebold’s ready to let the Nintendo Play Station go now, and make a fine sum of cash in the process. “I can’t keep losing money,” Diebold said to Kotaku.
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 Nintendo Play Station will soon be up for auction then, over on the Heritage website which has made a name for itself since last year when it realised that there’s a new generation of collector out there with cash to burn and an urge to acquire video games. That auction will kick off on February 27, with the bidding expected to be fast and possibly furious as the console has no reserve price listed because it’s a first for the company. “It’s definitely going to sell, and the market will determine the value,” said Valarie McLeckie, Heritage’s director of video games.
In the case of this particular item, since it’s never been sold at public auction before, there’s really no way to tell.
Whoever ends up winning the auction, will hold in their hands a piece of history that shaped an industry. It’s the ultimate prize for collectors, as prototype consoles from that era are truly rare and can usually be counted on a hand that has been fed through a woodchipper machine. Hopefully, our starting price of tree fiddy should help us win the device.
Last Updated: December 18, 2019