Every so often, someone digs up a piece of gaming history. Something so rare, no one expects it to exist. Something like this Sony/Nintendo console hybrid from 1992, with SNES controller ports on the front, PlayStation branding and both a SNES cart slot and a CD-ROM drive. The prototype apparently comes from the documenter’s friend’s father (my uncle works for Nintendo!) who found it in a box of junk after he left his job.
Back in the late 80s or early 90s, Nintendo and Sony were in serious talks about working together on a CD-ROM based gaming console as a sequel to the Super Nintendo. Those talks obviously never came to fruition, and Nintendo sought a deal with rival electronics manufacturer Philips, to build what should have become a CD-ROM add-on for the SNES. Sony wasn’t having any of that so ploughed ahead with work on its PlayStation console, which arrived in 1994 and the rest, as they say, is history.
You can also check out a brief video showing off the unit. It’s pretty terrible lighting, but still fascinating.
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, I lived and breathed Nintendo. I had both a Game Boy and a PAL Super Nintendo. Many hours were spent playing Super Bomberman, Streetfighter II Turbo, Starfox and all the other classics. Discoveries like this always fascinate me. We see peeks into the secretive behind-the-scenes life of the electronics that affect our daily lives. But with this prototype, we see video gaming’s very own ‘Sliding Doors‘ moment: somewhere in the multiverse is a reality where Nintendo and Sony further dominate 90s gaming… as a team.
Were you a Sony or Nintendo fan? How would you have felt having a Nintendo PlayStation?