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They Did What?: 

Behold! The Nintendo PlayStation that never was


Yes, it’s real. One of only 200 Nintendo PlayStations ever made

No, this isn’t a mock-up. It’s a genuine prototype of a Nintendo PlayStation console that Nintendo and Sony worked on together. And it turned up during that treasure trove of rare finds – the office clearout.

Redditor Dan Diebold is the man who made the lucky find. Or rather, his dad is.

The prototype was shown off at CES way back in 1991. The console was designed to play both SNES games and those in the SNES-CD format which never came to pass.

You might wonder why Nintendo would join forces with a firm that would go on to be its arch rival. (Nintendo is probably asking itself the same question right now.) Sony was one of the main companies behind the CD format. Nintendo’s experience was in games consoles that took cartridges. It wanted to get into the burgeoning CD console market, and so enlisted the help of Sony.

However, the relationship broke down because of disputes about rights for SNES-CD games, and the console was shelved forever. Only 200 were ever made. They were all thought to have been destroyed on orders from on high.

It was designed to play both cartridges and CDs. Diebold found one of each with the console, but can’t check what’s on either because it’s missing the power cord. We love the controller most – it’s basically a SNES controller but emblazoned with Sony and PlayStation logos.


The classic SNES controller with one noticeable difference

So how did daddy Diebold come across it?

Terry Diebold, Dan’s father, worked as a maintenance man at a company called Advanta Corporation from 2000 to 2009. At that time, the president of Advanta was Olaf Olafsson, the former CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment – this was the arm of Sony set up to create the PlayStation. It was under Olafsson’s tenure at Sony that the firm struck up a relationship with Nintendo, and the two companies started making products together.

In 2009, Advanta filed for bankruptcy, and Terry Diebold was asked to clear out the office. It would seem Olafsson left the console behind, and Diebold, being a hoarder, took it home.

So there you are, think twice before you throw anything out. It could end up fetching a fortune on eBay.

Photos via YouTube / Reddit / Dan Diebold.

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