The words “Nintendo PlayStation” may sound like someone jumbling video game consoles together accidentally, but it’s a real product concept that never hit the market. The only known prototype of the Nintendo-made Sony console, however, just sold at auction for $360,000.
The “Nintendo PlayStation” prototype was developed as part of a potential partnership between Nintendo and Sony to play both SNES cartridges and CD-based games: https://t.co/IsgJKh4PIt pic.twitter.com/0JhJiZ2lfH
— IGN (@IGN) March 6, 2020
The auction, which captivated gamers over the last few weeks, was won by video game collector Greg McLemore, who founded both Pets.com and Toys.com during the dot-com boom. McLemore spoke to CNN Business via email and called it a “great deal.”
Video game collector Greg McLemore, who founded Pets.com and Toys.com during the dot-com boom, won the console, outbidding other collectors including Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey.
“It’s the single most expensive thing I’ve ever bought outside of a house,” McLemore told CNN Business in an email. “I believe I got a great deal… To me it was worth it, especially when combined with the rest of my collection, the whole of which tells a story I want to save for society.”
Considering there was another offer to purchase the only known prototype ever for more than $1 million before the auction, he’s absolutely correct. McLemore also won the bidding war over some other notable collectors, including the founder of the virtual reality company Oculus, which is now owned by Facebook.
So what’s the background here? Back in 1991, Sony and Nintendo announced a partnership that would make a version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) that supported compact discs. The two made 200 units together before the deal fell through and, according to a press release from Heritage Auctions, who managed the auction of this Nintendo PlayStation, the other prototypes were all destroyed.
“The other 199 prototypes purported to exist were allegedly destroyed when the partnership between Nintendo and Sony was officially severed, and, though it isn’t certain, it is entirely possible this unit narrowly missed that fate,” said Valarie McLeckie, consignment director of video games at Heritage Auctions, in a release.
Sony and Nintendo went their separate ways, with the former releasing its own PlayStation in 1994 while Nintendo never truly embraced full-size compact discs for its video game systems. Their brief partnership did create a unique piece of memorabilia, which is now owned by a man already holding a unique piece of internet history.