The Nintendo PlayStation. It sounds wrong, like an Apple Galaxy S10 or something. But it’s a real thing, and not even the result of some kind of apocalyptic black magic. And not only does the Nintendo PlayStation exist, you can buy one — for an exorbitant price. The game system, developed around 1990, is currently up for auction at Heritage Auctions. The current bid is $250,000, including the buyer’s fee.
The Nintendo PlayStation (known at the time as the Play Station) was a collaboration between Nintendo and Sony in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Sony wanted into the booming video games business, so it struck a deal with Nintendo to forge the Super Disc format. An add-on to the SNES would allow it to play disc-based games (as well as music CDs), and a separate system made by Sony would play both discs and cartridges. That system was the Nintendo PlayStation.
But it wasn’t to be. A day after Sony announced its partnership with Nintendo at CES 1991, Nintendo revealed it had struck a deal with Phillips for a CD-based gaming platform. The result was the Phillips CD-i, home to such luminaries as Hotel Mario, Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon — considered three of the worst games of all time.
Sony was scorned but not soured on video games. Three years later, it realized its disc-based gaming dreams with the PlayStation, a console that you may say went on to have some success.
There were said to be 200 prototype units of the Nintendo PlayStation before the partnership was torched, with this apparently being the last surviving one. Heritage Auctions says the console still works and that it tested this by playing “a few rounds” of Mortal Kombat.
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