Rare ‘Nintendo PlayStation’ that was scrapped before release expected to fetch MILLIONS

Rare ‘Nintendo PlayStation’ that was developed in collaboration with Sony 30 years ago and scrapped before release is expected to fetch MILLIONS at auction

  • ‘SNES PlayStation’ was the result of a brief collaboration between gaming giants 
  • The ultra-rare prototype includes both a cartridge slot and CD-ROM disc drive 
  • It’s thought to be the last remaining unit of 200 that were ever made and goes under auction in February  

A rare ‘Nintendo PlayStation’ hybrid console that was never released is being put up for auction online. 

The ‘SNES PlayStation’ prototype is thought to be the last of only 200 that were made during the failed joint venture between the two console giants, Nintendo and Sony.

The creation is a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) console complete with a game cartridge slot and a CD-ROM disc drive developed with help from Sony – both of which are in working order.

The unreleased console, which features Sony branding and the first use of the word ‘PlayStation’, marks the first chapter of Sony’s foray into the home console video game market in the early 1990s.

The rare ‘SNES PlayStation’ was one of 200 prototypes made – and the rest are thought to be destroyed  

But disputes caused the cancellation of the project and Sony went on to launch its wildly successful PlayStation in 1994.

The rare console represents a fleeting association between the two Japanese companies before they took separate paths, ending up as bitter rivals in the video game market by the turn of the century. 

The 199 other prototypes were reportedly destroyed when the partnership soured.

The unit, which also comes with a game cartridge and Sony-branded SNES controller, will be auctioned in February by Heritage Auctions, based in Dallas.

The winning bidder will also receive a controller and game cartridge

‘At one point this dual-branded prototype’s existence was mere myth,’ Heritage Auctions says on its website.

‘Now, this prototype console is fated to be a coveted centerpiece in one person’s collection.’

This unit was owned by the founder and first CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc, Olaf Olaffson, who later became a member of the board of directors at Advanta, an American bank.

The prototype was designed to support both Nintendo's preferred gaming format – the cartridge – and PlayStation's preferred CD-ROM drive

The prototype was designed to support both Nintendo’s preferred gaming format – the cartridge – and PlayStation’s preferred CD-ROM drive

When Mr Olaffson left Advanta he left the prototype behind, and it was later acquired by former Advatna worker Terry Diebold when the company went bankrupt.

Though the CD-ROM drive was not working when Mr Diebold acquired the console in 2009, it was repaired by Ben Heck, a YouTube personality known for his console repair videos.

Mr Diebold has had the SNES PlayStation in his possession ever since, and has toured it across the world at vintage game conventions before finally deciding to put it up for sale.

A guide price is yet to be revealed for the piece of history, but Mr Diebold told Kotaku that he turned down $1.2 million (around £1 million) from ‘someone in Norway’ to be able to put it up for auction.

‘It’s definitely going to sell, and the market will determine the value,’ said Valarie McLeckie, Heritage’s director of video games, to Kotaku.

‘In the case of this particular item, since it’s never been sold at public auction before, there’s really no way to tell.’

Heritage has auctioned copies of The Legend of Zelda for nearly $20,000 each and a copy of the original Mega Man for as much as $75,000. 


1988: Sony and Nintendo originally begin discussions to develop a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The idea didn’t come to fruition before the SNES was released in 1990.

1991: At the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Sony revealed a prototype SNES with a built-in CD-ROM drive – now known as the ‘SNES PlayStation’. However, only the next day Nintendo announced it had broken its deal with Sony, opting instead to partner Philips, Sony’s rival in consumer electronics.

1994: The original PlayStation launched in Japan on December 3 and in the US and Europe the following year.

2000: Sony launched the PlayStation 2 a year before its other competitors, Microsoft’s Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube, and became the most successful home console in the world, selling 155 million units by 2012.

2005: The original PlayStation went became the first video game console to ship more than 100 million units.

2006: Sony released the PlayStation 3, the first console in the series to introduce the use of motion-sensing technology.

2013: Sony released the PlayStation 4 (PS4), a next-generation console designed to compete with the Xbox One.

2016: Sony entered the expanding virtual reality (VR) market with the release of the PlayStation VR (PS VR).

2020: Sony plans to release the PS5 around Christmas next year. 

Leaked images are giving gamers a look at Sony’s highly-anticipated PlayStation 5, which is set to hit the market in time for the 2020 holiday season

Leaked images are giving gamers a look at Sony’s highly-anticipated PlayStation 5, which is set to hit the market in time for the 2020 holiday season


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