An Alleged PlayStation Prototype Surfaces

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Foxi4, Jul 7, 2015.

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  1. Foxi4
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    The relationship between Sony and Nintendo could be likened to a Shakespearean drama. The first act is one of co-operation on the Super Nintendo's excellent sound chip, followed shortly by the second act depicting the two companies falling out with each other and Sony swearing vengeance upon Nintendo, culminating in the third act with the rise of the PlayStation. Before the two companies parted ways however, they worked on a peculiar device - a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo, which unfortunately never saw the light of day despite being in late stages of development.

    It is believed that 200 prototypes of this device were manufactured, two are allegedly still stored safely in Sony of Japan's headquarters to this day. These prototypes were incredibly elusive - other than some old promotional material and sketches of various different models, little is known about them and stories about bumping into them were mostly just urban legends... until now, it seems.

    The video above allegedly shows one such prototype, currently in the posession of a reddit user going by the name of Analogueboy. The unit is untested (for obvious reasons) as its current owner does not wish to damage it. Here's what he had to say:
    This "Olaf" is currently believed to be Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson, internationally known as Olaf Olafsson, the founder of Sony Interactive Entertainment, a man deeply involved in the release of the original PlayStation.

    Every puzzle of the mystery seems to fit - this just might be the real deal. What will happen to it next? Will the unit be sold to a private collector or donated to a museum? Who knows - the only thing that's certain is that it's the one of the first Sony-Nintendo PlayStation prototypes to ever surface and grace the Internet with its charms.

    If you wish to learn more, follow the link below to read the original Reddit thread. Be sure to check out the photo gallery below, too!

    :arrow: Reddit Thread
    :arrow: ASSEMbler Games Thread
    :arrow: On-going Discussion
     

    Attached Files:



  2. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    I want to see that thing running a game. I guess he doesn't have any prototype CD games for it but he could at least see if it plays regular SNES cartridges.
    Without knowing the input voltage and polarity though, it's risky business.
     
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  3. Foxi4
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    The voltage is known (it's printed on the prototype - 7.6V, and you can figure the polarity out easily enough since it's a standard barrel plug). There are more important reasons why the unit shouldn't be turned on without being previously inspected - it spent years in storage, possibly since 1992, and a single malfunctioning component, a speck of dust or water damage could fry the whole board. More importantly though, there just aren't any games to play on the thing - it's a hardware prototype. It did come with the cartridge (EDIT: and a CD-R disc, apparently) though, so hey - there might be something interesting on it.
     
  4. The Real Jdbye

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    The polarity is printed on the back too it seems. I can't make out what the text says from the blurry video though and it's not shown on the images, how did you manage to see it?

    The chances of it being damaged from just sitting in storage are low and even if some hardware component failed the chances of it frying the entire board are low, you'd have to be pretty unlucky for that to happen. But if it was never going to be turned on anyway what difference does it make if it's damaged? Any damage that might potentially have happened to it in storage is already there so it would change nothing. At least we would know if it works or not. If it works it would be far more valuable than if it's never been tested.
    Personally I would open it up, inspect it, and try it out after verifying it looks fine. Assuming I wouldn't have to break any seals to open it (but I doubt it since these were prototypes), and of course I'd be super careful and take my time with it.
     
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, Jul 7, 2015
  5. Foxi4
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    I added a photo gallery to the main post - the photo of the back of the system is high-res enough to make out the details. ;)
     
  6. WiiCube_2013

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    Not a single beta CD game to test it out? That's no good to see what its potential could have led to.
     
  7. Foxi4
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    Seeing that it was supposed to be just a CD add-on, one could speculate that it wouldn't be a major improvement over the SNES. After reading the ASSEMbler thread I found out that according to an alleged ex-employee two games were in active development at Imagesoft where this system supposedly originates from, one was Hook which was later released in the SNES and Sega CD, the other was an FMV game called Forteza which never saw the light of day.
     
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  8. The Real Jdbye

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    Oh crap I totally missed that in the image. Yeah so, 7.6V, center pin positive. He would just have to find a power adapter and a barrel plug of the right dimensions and in all likelyhood it would work just fine, or it simply wouldn't work at all. Broken electronics very rarely implode, they simply stop working, and it's unlikely that it would have been damaged from just sitting in storage anyway. I think it's a small enough risk that it's worth taking. Plus if it's already broken, then it doesn't make much difference anyway.
     
  9. Foxi4
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    It's literally the only prototype that's ever been witnessed in the so-called "wild", I'd argue the risk is pretty big. Loads of things could go wrong, it's been over a decade. For instance, capacitors from that era tend to leak, especially when you suddenly "stimulate" them with current - you don't want acid damage on the PCB and if there is any, you want to "fix it" if possible before turning the thing on. It's best if a professional has a look at it beforehand, it's a general rule when dealing with rare and old prototypes like this - connecting it to the mains is the last thing you want to do. What you're saying is that should we ever find the Holy Grail, we should start celebrating by drinking coke out of it. :P
     
  10. WiiCube_2013

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    That's a bummer. :(

    Is this SNES-PS still with that dodgy looking dude?
     
  11. Foxi4
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    Correct, he hopes to sell the system, and I expect it to sell for big bucks.

    EDIT: Apparently he wants to keep it, at least according to ASSEMbler Games.
     
  12. WiiCube_2013

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    Wouldn't expect any less as that's definitely worth a lot though I hope he wraps it up really well and to whomever it goes, for the love of god it's not one of those dicks that buys consoles to destroy later. :(
     
  13. Foxi4
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    I sincerely hope it ends up in capable hands. The discussion at ASSEMbler Games is brewing and that's a forum full of "capable hands" who are usually willing to drop down quadruple or quintuple numbers if the find is worth their time - no shortage of prototype owners there.
     
  14. The Real Jdbye

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    A leaky capacitor is in all likelihood just going to make it not power on though. But it doesn't take a professional to spot a leaky capacitor. If I was that guy I would open it up and check that everything looks fine before testing it. I obviously wouldn't just try it out without being reasonably certain there were no glaring issues with it first :P
    I just hope the guy isn't just planning to keep it this way without ever trying it out, because that would be a damn shame. Getting it professionally examined first is not a bad idea as long as he actually ends up doing it. If he can't afford that or doesn't want to, and instead keeps it in storage for another 14 or so years, it would just be a waste.
     
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  15. Foxi4
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    Thing is, even if this thing doesn't work and isn't tested, it's still worth a bunch of money, especially if it's unopened and never tampered with. Why would he try to turn it on if he just wants to sell it? Restoring the piece is the job of whoever acquires it in the end. ;)
     
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  16. WiiCube_2013

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    Would that be an issue considering the rarity of this prototype console? I'd bet there'd be lots of professionals who'd do a check on it for free just so they'd get to have a look at it in person.
     
  17. TecXero

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    If this is a fake, this is one of the most elaborate fakes I've seen in quite a while. I think it's real. I hope it ends up in the hands of someone that knows what they're doing. I think it should be studied, tested, and cleaned up. Then it should go to a museum instead of just some private collection where it will never be seen again. It's an interesting part of history where consoles and gaming could have gone in a very different direction.
     
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  18. Foxi4
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    I really want to know what's under that plastic cover myself. It's like the Schrodinger's Cat of consoles - what's inside, a PlayStation or a SNES? :P
     
  19. sarkwalvein

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    Well, if you consider that he is risking destroying a one of its kind piece of hardware that could also be sold for good money, I understand if he doesn't take the risks.
    Just imagine something going wrong and the thing being gone forever when there are potential buyers waiting around.
     
  20. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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