A Lucky Gamer Has Acquired a Prototype “Nintendo Play Station”

By July 3, 2015

Video game history is a very interesting subject to look into, especially over the last thirty years. When home console gaming collapsed in the early 1980s, the Japanese company Nintendo picked the concept up out of the ashes of Atari’s demise, and re-energized it with a plumber and a princess. In the late 1980s, Nintendo entered into a partnership with Sony to produce a CD-based add-on for the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES, which eventually led Sony to develop a new console called the “Play Station:” a Super Nintendo with a disc drive, that would be able to play both the traditional cartridge-based games, along with CD-based games. Sony unveiled the system at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, but a mere day after Sony unveiled the device, Nintendo went back on the deal.

Announcing a new partnership with Philips, but still intending to use the same technology, Nintendo eventually decided to break the agreement with Sony over disagreements on how to share the revenue of the new venture between the two companies. While as many as 200 of the prototype Play Station consoles were made, Sony ordered them all destroyed, and began work on their own dedicated game console to enter the video game market and directly challenge Nintendo. This eventually led to the creation of the original Sony PlayStation, which debuted on the market in 1994.

While some people have claimed that they have prototype devices of the Sony/Nintendo partnership, the vast majority of those statements have faded into the white noise of the internet. Now, though, one person has come forward who in fact does own one of the devices, and he has the video to prove it. See it below.

According to a story at Polygon, Dan Diebold — the man in the video — acquired the rare gem from his father, who worked at the Advanta Corporation. One of Advanta’s former presidents used to be the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, and when the company went bankrupt, Diebold’s father was ordered to dispose of a lot of random “junk.” In a room, tucked away in a box in the corner, was the Nintendo/Sony PlayStation. Diebold kept this item, among some other odds and ends, for himself.

As for the device itself, Diebold hasn’t tried powering it up, because he doesn’t have a power cord that will work with it at the moment. That will likely change soon, and Diebold believes his father could be tempted to sell it. Either way, this is a very unique piece of video game history, and it’s very interesting that it’s emerged now. Just think of what could’ve been had Sony and Nintendo maintained their partnership. Would the currently dominant PlayStation 4 have Nintendo’s name on it alongside Sony’s?

It’s pretty strange to think about.

Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.