It ranks up there with unicorns. The fabled joint venture between Nintendo and PlayStation to create a game console that incorporated both a CD drive and a SNES cartridge slot. In 2015, the Nintendo PlayStation Prototype stepped out of the land of myth and appeared in the real world. Now that prototype is up for sale.
Terry Diebold discovered the console amongst a lot of items he had won in an online bankruptcy auction. He paid only $75 for the entire lot. Even then, Diebold didn’t know what he had in his possession. It wasn’t until his son, Dan, came across a Reddit thread about the system that it dawned on Diebold that he had something pretty special. The Diebolds have toured the system around the world for the past years since discovering it. According to an interview with “Kotaku,” Diebold says that he hasn’t earned anything from the tour, and that continuing to do so is costing him more money than he can afford to lose. They won’t have to worry much about money after the auction, however, as the pair expect to make quite a bit off of the console. They’ve already turned down an offer of $1.2 million from someone in Norway. It may be a bit of a risk to rely on the auction, but there is a history of gaming paraphernalia going for exorbitant amounts. Earlier this year, a sealed copy of the original Mega Man game went for $75,000. Heritage Auction House’s director of video games, Valarie McLeckie, isn’t sure what to expect. “In the case of this particular item,” she says, “since it’s never been sold at public auction before, there’s really no way to tell.”
The console is thought to be the last remaining prototype of only 200 that were ever made. It has a slot for Super Famicom and Super Nintendo games, as well as a CD-ROM drive. That drive wasn’t working when it was originally found, but the Diebolds recruited Benjamin Heckendorn, a YouTube personality that posts console repair videos, to get the system up and running. While the other prototypes were destroyed, this unit was saved by Olaf Olaffson, the founder, first president, and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment. Olaffson joined Advanta before going to Time Warner, but he left the console at Advanta. Advanta eventually went bankrupt, and that’s where Diebold was picked up the console.