When the Nintendo Playstation prototype was first uncovered by Dan Diebold in his father’s garage, no-one believed him. The thought of such a thing existing was untenable – Sony and Nintendo parted ways after their collaboration to build a home console failed, and it resulted in the birth of the Playstation, the home console that let Sony dominate the industry for nearly a decade. While the prototype itself is legit (it previously belonged to Olaf Olaffsson, a former CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America), no-one knew if it worked, and Diebold and his father didn’t have the expertise to take it apart for repairs. So they arranged to have it looked at by a professional company that restores game consoles, and the console now works almost perfectly. Hit the jump for more.
This was what would have been produced and released to market if Sony and Nintendo had seen the project to its end. Designed to play games from both a cartridge and a laser disc, the idea was for the two companies to work on a better version of the original Super Nintendo, with a few tricks up its sleeve. The first was the dual capability to play carts and disc-based games, which would ensure that it would remain useful for quite a while. The other was that the system bus that serviced the cartridge also act as an expansion port, allowing owners to later upgrade the system with more memory, more storage space, and possibly a better graphics chip, if it came to that.
Two hundred of these prototypes were created. This one is labeled “2” on the circuit boards and the inner chassis, suggesting that it’s the second one to ever be made. After the partnership broke down, both companies presumably destroyed every last prototype they could find. Some do still exist in the wild and at least one has been pictured before in Japan, but this is the first one that works.
The Diebolds had the console fixed and discovered that it works almost perfectly. The system plays regular SNES games and functions well in that regard. The system was taken apart and photographed and many people have discussed the internals of the machine, which are similar to, but not an exact replica of, the Super Nintendo hardware that it is based on. The only thing that doesn’t work at this stage is the SuperDisc drive. When powering on the system into the diagnostics mode, the drive throws up an error that it is faulty, which might be the case. Unfortunately, there’s no way it’ll ever get replaced, because there are no known working SuperDisc drives for this machine out in the wild. What a pity.
On the plus side, every little technical detail about this machine is being recorded and worked on. The chips on the circuit boards have all been identified. People are working on recovering the console’s BIOS to learn more about it, and the boot-up cartridge that came with it, which might reveal more secrets, is also faulty and in the process of being recovered.
Dan says he’ll never sell the machine, even after being offered over $45,000 for it. He and his father are currently showing it off at a games expo in Japan, and want to find a museum where it can be displayed. Its the ultimate “what-if” scenario, and it’s possibly the only one of its kind. Check out the video below and fast-forward to 2:26.
Source: Nintendo Life