Extremely rare Super Nintendo PlayStation prototype discovered in the wild

We're looking at an amazing relic here - now, will the guy actually plug it in?

There's an astounding split in gaming history that many non-die-hards may not know about: an ill-fated collaboration between Nintendo and Sony that ultimately made them heated competitors. And the unseen result has finally emerged in a box of "junk."

Back when the Super Nintendo ruled the 16-bit generation, Nintendo contracted Sony to design a Super Disc CD-ROM add-on akin to Sega's Mega Drive CD, which was never released. Additionally, the two companies would devise a combined console that included both CD and cartridge support. And that's what just popped up on the Internet earlier today.

It's never been seen in the wild - only a press photo had been circulated - as far as we can tell. A user named Dnldbld on the Assembler Games forums posted the photos, explaining that his father used to work with someone named "Olaf" who had previously worked for Nintendo. Web sleuths suspect that it may have been Olaf Olafsson, who actually was president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (not Nintendo) at the time of its conception, but that hasn't been confirmed.

The poster has since put up a YouTube video (above) showing the console from all angles. It has the same kind of discolouration as many SNES consoles, although he hasn't yet plugged the system in to see if it works - and find out what's on the cartridge.

Assuming this isn't an incredibly elaborate and exacting hoax, this is an amazing discovery. Here's hoping he grabs a power cord, fires it up, and sees what it can do ASAP. And if he decides to sell, he'll surely have many prospective buyers lining up to bring this into their collections. That's assuming Sony or Nintendo doesn't throw a legal fit about it, of course.

And just to round out the history lesson: what happened between Nintendo and Sony? Well, Nintendo apparently didn't trust Sony and opted for a partnership with Philips at CES 1991, which resulted in the terrible CD-i console. Spurned after putting in all that work, Sony soldiered ahead and made the standalone PlayStation for release in Japan in 1994. And gaming history was never the same.

[Sources: Reddit, Assembler Games, YouTube via NintendoLife]