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Press Release - January 3, 2020
The PlayStation … by Nintendo? Only Known Surviving Prototype of the Never-Released Console Goes to AuctionUnreleased video game console prototype from the 1988-1991 partnership offered March 5-7 at Heritage Auctions
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"Most importantly, it works,” said Valarie McLeckie, Director of Video Games at Heritage Auctions.
The prototype is believed to be the only surviving example of 200 pre-production consoles that spawned from a once promising partnership between Sony and Nintendo. These companies are now two of the biggest competitors in the modern home console video game market, which makes this console's existence a bit of a head-scratcher. At one time, this reportedly single-surviving unit was owned by Olaf Olaffson, the founder, first president, and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., and eventually found its way into the hands of a private owner by pure chance.
"Reportedly, the other 199 prototypes were 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,” McLeckie said. "While there are vast differences between this 1990-1992 prototype and the PlayStation console that was eventually released to consumers by Sony in 1994, it is technically the earliest existing prototype for Sony’s first home console video game console and an invaluable piece of video game history.”
Also known as the Super NES CD-ROM System, the prototype has a slot for Super Famicom and Super Nintendo games as well as a disc drive to play a proprietary CD-ROM "Super Disc” based format. Although the CD-ROM drive was not currently working when it was found in 2009 it has since been repaired by Benjamin Heckendorn, known as Ben Heck, a YouTube personality known for his console repair videos.
Since its discovery, the prototype has been on a tour across the world to various vintage and retro video game conventions. Convention attendees have been able to play games and enjoy this unique piece of video game history – and now it’s fated to be a coveted centerpiece in one person's collection, McLeckie said.
The Nintendo Play Station prototype, created in partnership between Sony and Nintendo during the 1990s, will cross the auction block in Heritage Auctions’ March 5-7 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Auction. The auction will be held live in Dallas, with worldwide internet bidding available via HA.com.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
Eric Bradley, Director, Public Relations
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