Unreleased Nintendo PlayStation console goes up for auction

Almost 30 years after it was canned, an unreleased games console built together by industry giants Sony and Nintendo has gone up for auction.

The Nintendo PlayStation was the result of a secret collaboration between the Japanese tech firms in the early 90s, however the project never entered production and Sony would go on to release their own system in 1994.

Nintendo, famous for hit franchises such as Super Mario and The Legend Of Zelda, was the market leader at the time and the introduction of the PlayStation changed the face of the gaming industry.

The console comes with all the necessary cables and a controller. Pic: Heritage Auctions
Image: The console comes with all the necessary cables and a controller. Pic: Heritage Auctions

All but one of the 200 or so Nintendo PlayStation prototypes were reportedly destroyed after the companies ended their short-lived partnership – and the last remaining box emerged at an estate sale back in 2015.

It was once owned by Olaf Olafsson, the first president of Sony Computer Entertainment, which was the company’s video game division.

He brought the console with him when he joined Advanta Corporation, but then forgot to take it when he left for Time Warner in 1999, and the box was sold when Advanta later filed for bankruptcy.

Now the exceedingly rare piece of gaming history, thought to be from 1992, has been put up for auction and has attracted bids of more than $49,000 (£37,500).

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The fighting game Super Smash Bros will feature in the scheme
Image: Nintendo is behind some of the most recognisable video game characters in the world

The listing is being managed by Heritage Auctions in the US, which says the console is in full working order and has the unique ability to play games originally released for the Super Nintendo – plus music CDs.

The CD drive, which was presumably designed to be able to play games, was not working when the console was found, but has since been repaired.

Users can also play music and a game like Super Mario World or the original Mario Kart at the same time – a feature that would not become a reality of consoles until years later.

The console features the familiar Sony and PlayStation logos, but the controllers sport the same recognisable colour scheme from the Super Nintendo, which was released in 1990.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 20: Attendees walk by the Sony PlayStation booth at the 2019 GDC Game Developers Conference on March 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The GDC runs through March 22. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Image: Sony went on to launch the PlayStation

While many gaming fans will wonder what might have been, Sony and Nintendo have gone on to remain successful players in the industry.

The Nintendo Switch enjoyed huge sales in the UK over Christmas, while Sony is planning to release its next console, the PlayStation 5, before the end of 2020.

Bidding in the auction ends on 8 March.

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