What just happened? The Nintendo Play Station, an unreleased prototype machine that was essentially a SNES with a CD-ROM drive, has been sold at auction. The winning bid was $360,000, and while that’s a lot of money, the former owner says he once turned down a $1.2 million offer for the machine.
The console was the result of a joint project between Nintendo and Sony in the late 80s, but its release was canceled in 1991 following a dispute between the two companies. There were 200 prototypes created, and all but one was destroyed.
The last machine ended up in the hands of Terry Diebold after he paid $75 for some items in an online bankruptcy auction. The abandoned property came from a former Sony executive, and it wasn’t until 2015 that Diebold’s son, Dan, found the console in the family attic.
After touring the world with the console, the pair decided to sell it in an online auction. Diebold said he already turned down a $1.2 million offer from a person in Norway, so the selling price was expected to be high.
While it didn’t go into seven figures, the winning bid reached $300,000—plus a $60,000 buyer’s premium fee. It came from Greg McLemore, founder of Pets.com and Toys.com, who beat several other collectors, including Oculus VR founder Plamer Luckey.
I am currently the highest bidder on this. Who are the other nutters who keep bidding against me?https://t.co/MIPpVn90EW— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) February 14, 2020
Speaking to CNN, McLemore, said it was “the single most expensive thing I've ever bought outside of a house.” He will be adding it to his collection, which includes over 800 coin-operated arcade games such as Pong, smaller games, magazines, and art. He wants to use the items to create a permanent museum eventually.
"I believe I got a great deal [...] To me it was worth it, especially when combined with the rest of my collection, the whole of which tells a story I want to save for society,” McLemore said.