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Working prototype of Nintendo PlayStation console sold for $360,000 at auction

The winning bid for a working prototype of the legendary console known as the Nintendo PlayStation was $360,000, which reportedly sets a new record as the most valuable video game lot ever sold in an auction.

The item is said to be the last remaining prototype of the console, according to Heritage Auctions, which handled the sale of the Nintendo PlayStation. Allegedly, only 200 prototypes were made out of the failed partnership between Sony and Nintendo, with all others destroyed.

The console, Sony’s first attempt at creating hardware for the video game industry, is basically a Super Nintendo Entertainment System with a built-in CD-ROM drive that would have expanded the 16-bit console’s capabilities by allowing it to play games off CDs. However, the partnership ended after the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show, where Nintendo revealed that it was working with Sony rival Philips.

One of the more interesting parts of the Nintendo PlayStation is its controller, which is a Super Nintendo controller with Super Famicom controllers, but with Sony PlayStation branding at the center.

The console, however, is starting to show its age. According to Heritage Auctions, this is because, like the Super Nintendo, it is made of naturally flammable plastic, so it is treated with flame retardants that turn yellow when oxidized.

The CD-ROM drive of the Nintendo PlayStation prototype was initially not working, but it has since been repaired by YouTuber Benjamin Heckendorn, who is known for his console repair videos. The device is capable of playing music CDs like the original PlayStation, but there are no known games that may be played through the CD-ROM drive. The console, however, is capable of playing Super Nintendo cartridges.

The prototype was originally owned by former Sony Computer Entertainment America president Olaf Olafsson, then purchased at a property auction by Terry Diebold, who kept the console in his attic until it was rediscovered by his son in 2015. Diebold told Kotaku in December that he rejected an offer of $1.2 million for the console before the auction.

Video game memorabilia are no strangers to valuable auctions, including sealed copies of Super Mario Bros. and Kid Icarus for the NES going for $100,000 and $9,000, respectively, last year.

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
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