The Verge reports via CNN that a prototype of the Nintendo Play Station, a console that would never reach the market, was auctioned for $360,000 over the weekend. The founder of Pets.com and Toys.com, Greg McLemore, had the winning bid. McLemore beat out a myriad of other collectors, including the CEO of VR headset and software Oculus, Palmer Luckey.
Only 200 prototypes of the console were created when Sony and Nintendo entered a doomed partnership in 1991, it is believed that the other 199 prototypes were destroyed when the deal fell through. The unit is basically a Super Nintendo (NES) with a CD-ROM drive. The CD-ROM drive would be the feature that would see Sony’s PlayStation level its competition and push consoles into the next generation as the very top of the bunch.
CDs were able to hold much more information than the plastic cartridges that were the norm at the time, meaning that game developers could produce games with, what was considered at the time, high-resolution 3D graphics, higher resolution audio and include games with enormous playtimes through multiple CDs like Final Fantasy VII.
According to Polygon, this prototype of the Nintendo Play Station was found by Terry Diebold in a box of old machinery that was once owned by Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Olaf Olafsson. The two had worked at Advanta Corporation. When the company went bankrupt, the console was one of many items that ended up at private auction – through which Diebold acquired it.
McLemore says the console is the single most expensive thing he’s ever purchased outside of a house. Adding “it was worth it especially when combined with the rest of my collection,” CNN reports.
McLemore’s collection includes more than 800-coin operated machines, as well as smaller games, magazines, and art which McLemore is using to create a permanent museum, according to Forbes. McLemore’s mission is to not have the machine buried “in a closet somewhere.”
The Gaming Sonic Boom
Those confused as to why the console was able to be sold at such an amount should know that gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries ever. Some experts believe that the total revenue for gaming will reach over $300 billion in just 5 years and over 2.5 billion gamers around the world, that’s about 30% of the total human population.
Mobile games alone are expecting to make $56 billion in revenue by 2024, with the number of new mobile gamers increasing by 100 million every year.
The Nintendo Play Station, being the last surviving relic of a by-gone age in technology and one of gaming’s biggest What-Ifs made manifest can be considered a touchstone for all gamers and their collective history.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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