He says the device belonged to his father, who once worked alongside a Nintendo employee and happened across it in a box of junk after his company went bankrupt.
A series of photos and a Youtube video point to the existence of a Nintendo Play Station Superdisc – one form factor of the SNES CD-ROM – in the wild. Sony, miffed, decided to use its tech to jump into the games market itself, leading to the creation of the Playstation.
“Nintendo was looking for a way to improve its 16-bit SNES console – and partnered with Sony to develop a CD-based add-on”. By snubbing fellow Japanese company Sony in 1991, Nintendo created a powerful competitor in gaming. One has apparently been found (via IB Times). It’s not clear whether it’s from before or shortly after Nintendo’s backstabbing announcement, but the design makes sense given the history: that’s basically a Super Nintendo controller, but there’s a CD drive on the front of the device.
Sony decided to continue to work on its Play Station, regardless of Nintendo.
Now, more than two decades later, Imgur user DanDiebold has uploaded images of the unreleased console.
Sony didn’t give up of course: the Play Station was reworked into the PlayStation, which, when it was released in 1994, had 3D capabilities that were miles ahead of the competition. As a result, Nintendo formed a partnership with Dutch electronics firm Philips, a particularly bold move as it meant abandoning a fellow Japanese company for a European one.
Because of the last minute cancellation, about 200 demo prototypes had been produced, and that’s likely where the newly discovered machine comes from.
It would have been amusing if Nintendo and Sony went through with their original plan.