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For most modern gamers, the idea of rival video game giants Nintendo and Sony collaborating on a project is pretty much unthinkable. But believe it or not, back in the day when the Super Nintendo was king, Sony and Nintendo were supposed to team up to make a new console. Unfortunately the deal went sour, and it was thought that all prototypes of the mythical Sony-Nintendo console were gone.

Until now. A working copy of what has been dubbed the “Nintendo PlayStation” was recently brought to light and shown off online for the world to see. Join us after the jump to witness what could’ve been…

Before we look at the console itself though, here’s a quick rundown on how the “Nintendo PlayStation” came to be. In the late 1980s, Nintendo and Sony made a deal for Sony to produce a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Nintendo, as well as their own console that would also play Super Nintendo games.

Unfortunately during the next few years the companies were driven apart by battles over licensing issues. After the dust finally cleared, Nintendo partnered with Sony’s rival Philips to produce the Super Nintendo CD-ROM, and Sony made their own console, the PlayStation. This resulted in Sony’s legacy living up to today with the PlayStation 4, and the Philips CD-i going down as one of the worst consoles in history. It’s really quite the tale, so if you haven’t already we recommend checking out our detailed article looking back on how Sony’s original PlayStation console came into being.

▼ Instead of getting a legendary gaming partnership… we got this.


But during that brief period in the early 1990s, a few working prototypes of the “Nintendo PlayStation” were, in fact, produced. For the longest time it was believed that they had all been lost to history, becoming little more than a mythical gaming console, until recently when one finally surfaced online.

You can watch the full story as reported by Engadget here, or scroll down for highlights:

How exactly did a priceless artifact like this turn up? Pretty much completely by chance. Terry Diebold, the man in the center of the screenshot below, just happened to bid on it during a company liquidation auction.

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▼ And how much did he pay to get it? A whopping US$75.

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From there the Nintendo PlayStation collected dust in Terry’s attic, until his son Dan saw a post about the mythical console online and decided to prove to the world that it actually existed. He posted a video of it online, basically confirming the equivalent of the gaming world’s Bigfoot.

But perhaps the most surprising thing about all of this? The console still works. They booted it up, and it played just as smoothly as if it had been made yesterday.

▼ And I have to fight with my Super NES forever just to get a flashing screen….

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▼ Everyone waiting expectantly, wondering what glories the legendary console will show them this time….

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▼ Ah, Bomberman 5! The console has spoken! Go forth and heed its prophecy!

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▼ Or we can just blow each other up. That’s fine too.

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▼ Just think, if only Sony and Nintendo had sat down and played some Bomberman together instead of getting all mad at each other, then maybe they could’ve come to an agreement.

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Seeing the Nintendo PlayStation is like looking into a parallel universe and catching a glimpse of what could’ve possibly been. Imagine what the gaming world of today would be like if the Nintendo-Sony partnership had remained strong.

Would everything have progressed faster, and we’d be in a golden age of gaming? Or would the lack of competition have stifled innovation and we’d still be in the 16-bit era? It’s a question that we can only speculate about, though it’s hard to imagine that more Sony-Nintendo gaming crossovers could ever be a bad thing.

Source: Engadget via Culture LAB, Wikipedia
Images: Engadget

Now read:

PlayStation: The dramatic tale of how Sony’s first console came into being