Gamer Shares Pics of Ultra-Rare SNES "Play Station" Add-On

Gamer Shares Pics of Ultra-Rare SNES "Play Station" Add-On

Someone has purportedly found themselves in a possession of a rare prototype add-on for the SNES.

Arguably one of the biggest mistakes Nintendo ever made was its early-90s betrayal of Sony. You see, while they're rivals in the gaming-sphere today, back in 1988 the two partnered up to produce a disc-based add-on for the SNES. Sony would go on to unveil said add-on at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. Unfortunately for them, Nintendo decided to pull some shenanigans and, a day later, announced that it was cancelling their deal and would instead be entering into a new partnership with Sony's rivals at Phillips. Understandably peeved, Sony decided to take its little add-on and use it as the foundation for the original PlayStation which, of course, would go on to wipe the floor with Nintendo's N64 a few years later.

So why are we telling you all of this? Because we felt a bit of context might help you understand the full awesome-factor of a discovery one Reddit user has shared with the internet. More specifically, they've shared photos of what's supposedly an intact prototype of Sony's SNES add-on. The prototype in question was apparently discovered in a junk pile by said gamer's father. "My dad worked for a company, apparently one of the guys he used to work with, I think his name was Olaf, used to work at Nintendo and when my dad's company went bankrupt, my dad found it in a box of 'junk' he was supposed to throw out."

While the add-on itself would represent a significant find, the appearance of the name "Olaf" in the explanation could add even more substance to the discovery. If the story's true, the Olaf in question could conceivably be Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson, a.k.a. the co-founder and original CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. In other words, this may have once belonged to one of the people principally responsible for its creation. Even if it didn't though, there's really no understating how valuable this is. Barely 200 of the prototypes were ever produced, meaning that this is literally one of the rarest pieces of gaming hardware ever made.


Source: GamesRadar

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StewShearer:
Arguably one of the biggest mistakes Nintendo ever made was its early-90s betrayal of Sony. You see, while they're rivals in the gaming-sphere today, back in 1988 the two partnered up to produce a disc-based add-on for the SNES. Sony would go on to unveil said add-on at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. Unfortunately for them, Nintendo decided to pull some shenanigans and, a day later, announced that it was cancelling their deal and would instead be entering into a new partnership with Sony's rivals at Phillips. Understandably peeved, Sony decided to take its little add-on and use it as the foundation for the original PlayStation which, of course, would go on to wipe the floor with Nintendo's N64 a few years later.

This is also the reason why 3 shitty Zelda games exist on a non-Nintendo console, along with those infamous animated cutscenes.

Still available for MSRP of U.S. $200?

Asclepion:

StewShearer:
Arguably one of the biggest mistakes Nintendo ever made was its early-90s betrayal of Sony. You see, while they're rivals in the gaming-sphere today, back in 1988 the two partnered up to produce a disc-based add-on for the SNES. Sony would go on to unveil said add-on at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. Unfortunately for them, Nintendo decided to pull some shenanigans and, a day later, announced that it was cancelling their deal and would instead be entering into a new partnership with Sony's rivals at Phillips. Understandably peeved, Sony decided to take its little add-on and use it as the foundation for the original PlayStation which, of course, would go on to wipe the floor with Nintendo's N64 a few years later.

This is also the reason why 3 shitty Zelda games exist on a non-Nintendo console, along with those infamous animated cutscenes.

Oh yeah! I'd forgotten about those!

Anyone who ever wants to complain about a Zelda game sucking should seriously watch some Let's Plays to see how bad things can really get.

This is the coolest thing I have seen all week. I love old gaming tech. Thank you so much for sharing this.

StewShearer:

Asclepion:

StewShearer:
Arguably one of the biggest mistakes Nintendo ever made was its early-90s betrayal of Sony. You see, while they're rivals in the gaming-sphere today, back in 1988 the two partnered up to produce a disc-based add-on for the SNES. Sony would go on to unveil said add-on at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. Unfortunately for them, Nintendo decided to pull some shenanigans and, a day later, announced that it was cancelling their deal and would instead be entering into a new partnership with Sony's rivals at Phillips. Understandably peeved, Sony decided to take its little add-on and use it as the foundation for the original PlayStation which, of course, would go on to wipe the floor with Nintendo's N64 a few years later.

This is also the reason why 3 shitty Zelda games exist on a non-Nintendo console, along with those infamous animated cutscenes.

Oh yeah! I'd forgotten about those!

Anyone who ever wants to complain about a Zelda game sucking should seriously watch some Let's Plays to see how bad things can really get.

DO NOT MENTION THEM. Let's all pretend they never existed, just as we have until now.

Regarding the Superdisc, it's extremely cool. Although it's kind of weird, the Playstation's disc tray opened upwards because the sliding mechanism wasn't perfected, but the Superdisc still has a sliding tray.
Someone needs to send that dude some power and VGA cables. Maybe it still has a test/demo disc inside! Maybe we can incorporate the Superdisc into SNES emulators!

Ah what could have been. Perhaps in another universe it was, and in that universe I like to imagine that Sony and Nintendo essentially conquer the world through awesome consoles and Mario and Crash Bandicoot cross over merchandising.

The Artificially Prolonged:
Ah what could have been. Perhaps in another universe it was, and in that universe I like to imagine that Sony and Nintendo essentially conquer the world through awesome consoles and Mario and Crash Bandicoot cross over merchandising.

This is probably the biggest "what if" in the gaming industry after "what if Atari hadn't crashed the market". How would the gaming landscape look today if there had been no Playstation, if Nintendo had done what the Genesis largely hadn't- properly harness the power of the CD-ROM for gaming? The SNES's slower processor would've probably ruled out full-motion video, but its much better color capabilities could have given us enormous, vibrant exploration-based platformers. And if that partnership had carried on to the N64....

To be perfectly fair, Stew, the deal breaking down wasn't entirely Nintendo's fault, nor was it a clear-cut betrayal. There were some pretty nasty terms in Sony's favor in that whole deal that Nintendo was wise to back out of, such as Sony taking complete profits from all software sales on the system. It's possible that staying on would've been an even bigger mistake, considering how much the deal would've made them Sony's bitch.

Asclepion:

This is also the reason why 3 shitty Zelda games exist on a non-Nintendo console, along with those infamous animated cutscenes.

Well, not so much the partnership, but their desire to cut ties with Philips.

VinLAURiA:
To be perfectly fair, Stew, the deal breaking down wasn't entirely Nintendo's fault, nor was it a clear-cut betrayal. There were some pretty nasty terms in Sony's favor in that whole deal that Nintendo was wise to back out of, such as Sony taking complete profits from all software sales on the system. It's possible that staying on would've been an even bigger mistake, considering how much the deal would've made them Sony's bitch.

It's wasn't Nintendo's withdrawal from the deal that was the problem. It's how they did it.

Publicly shaming Sony at an entertainment expo. Aligning with a foreign corporation against a domestic financial powerhouse. Breaking a contract.

Don't get me wrong, Nintendo was absolutely right to get Sony out of Nintendo's products as much as possible. But there are ways of going about it! Subtlety, Yamauchi.

This is fascinating! Sweet find.

Normally I wouldn't care that much about this type of stuff but after playing Hyperdimension Neptunia for the past week this suddenly got way more interesting.

A console that was a fusion of Nidento and Sony? I can only imagine how lucky this guy must have been to find it. If this thing is as rare as people say he's in for some serious cash offers for it.

kajinking:
If this thing is as rare as people say he's in for some serious cash offers for it.

Or some serious lawyers from Sony. Former CEO or not that's still a missing company prototype, the lengths Honda will go to recover stolen tech even if it's twenty years out of date are the matter of legend, I wonder if Sony thinks in a similar way.

I'd like to know the name of the company this Reddit user's dad worked for, and how it fit in the Nintendo-Sony partnership.

VinLAURiA:
To be perfectly fair, Stew, the deal breaking down wasn't entirely Nintendo's fault, nor was it a clear-cut betrayal. There were some pretty nasty terms in Sony's favor in that whole deal that Nintendo was wise to back out of, such as Sony taking complete profits from all software sales on the system. It's possible that staying on would've been an even bigger mistake, considering how much the deal would've made them Sony's bitch.

Yes, Sony went into the deal with the ultimate goal to get there foot in the door of the game industry. They likely would have broken off from Nintendo to do their own console within a few years, even if the SNES deal didn't fall apart.

I found a well researched video on the subject a few months ago.

Wiggum Esquilax:
It's wasn't Nintendo's withdrawal from the deal that was the problem. It's how they did it.

Publicly shaming Sony at an entertainment expo. Aligning with a foreign corporation against a domestic financial powerhouse. Breaking a contract.

Don't get me wrong, Nintendo was absolutely right to get Sony out of Nintendo's products as much as possible. But there are ways of going about it! Subtlety, Yamauchi.

They didn't even try negotiating a new contract first. If they could have come to a better agreement, Nintendo probably would have learned more about CD hardware and might not have driven off 3rd party publishers with expensive cartridges during the 5th generation. Instead they put themselves on defense for 3 home console generations. (And the Wii would be a fourth if motion controls didn't catch on as a fad 8 years ago.)

Also, we wouldn't have memes like "Mah Boi!" floating around if Nintendo didn't give Phillips game rights for the CD-i.

Man, seeing the PlayStation name on an SNES controller is so trippy. I feel like I've stepped into an alternate reality or something.

A world where Sony and Nintendo became partners instead of rivals is disturbing to think about. Yeah, Sony ended up completely trouncing Nintendo for two generations in a row, and in a way Nintendo has never fully recovered, but with the Saturn being such a failure that I didn't even learn that they had a fifth-gen console until many years later, having to compete with a system that combines the best of the 64 and the PlayStation would have utterly killed Sega and left us with a monopoly until Microsoft came along. If Microsoft was bold enough to enter a market that was now a monopoly.

...Wait, would that be so bad actually? I've been saying for years that we'd be better off if there were only one game platform, the same way there's only one format for DVDs and CDs. With only one system, there'd be no "buy our system or don't get our exclusives" ultimatum to deal with, and with that system getting the best ideas from at least two companies, there'd be no technical downside to the lack of competition.

Steve the Pocket:
A world where Sony and Nintendo became partners instead of rivals is disturbing to think about. Yeah, Sony ended up completely trouncing Nintendo for two generations in a row, and in a way Nintendo has never fully recovered, but with the Saturn being such a failure that I didn't even learn that they had a fifth-gen console until many years later, having to compete with a system that combines the best of the 64 and the PlayStation would have utterly killed Sega and left us with a monopoly until Microsoft came along. If Microsoft was bold enough to enter a market that was now a monopoly.

...Wait, would that be so bad actually? I've been saying for years that we'd be better off if there were only one game platform, the same way there's only one format for DVDs and CDs. With only one system, there'd be no "buy our system or don't get our exclusives" ultimatum to deal with, and with that system getting the best ideas from at least two companies, there'd be no technical downside to the lack of competition.

That would have definitely been a weird situation. If it had kept going (hard to say, given why nintendo pulled that stunt with Sony. Sony wasn't exactly well-behaved either. If the relationship hadn't broken down when it did, it may well have simply broken down a few years later)

What's clear though is that Sega was a complete disaster after the Mega Drive/Genesis. So with Sony+Nintendo being a single thing, we would've had a strange period. It's hard to say whether Microsoft would have still tried to challenge such an alliance, but it's clear enough that even if they had, it would still mean unquestioned dominance of the market by Nintendo/Sony up until at least the year 2000...

What would that have looked like? It's hard to say. That prototype has Sony logos on it, but what probably isn't really appreciated is that prior to this point Sony and Nintendo were already allies.

Sure, a new Snes CD system would've made that more explicit, but the SNES itself relied on Sony as well.
(If you were to open one up you'd notice several major components, most noticeably the sound chip, were made by Sony. )

The reason why Nintendo even asked Sony about making an Snes CD add-on, is firstly because Sony helped developed the CD, but also because Nintendo was already dealing with Sony anyway, and had at the very least been buying parts from them to use in SNES systems...
(could even be the case that it was Sony's manufacturing plants making SNES systems. Not sure. - Certainly while modern Nintendo stuff says made in china, older products say made in japan...)

I don't know when Nintendo and Sony started working together (obviously some time before the SNES was released), but it's clear that this situation destroyed their relationship.

You can see for instance that all kind of components Sony might've supplied Nintendo in the SNES era are in these days being supplied by matsushita/Panasonic.
So where the SNES had Sony Audio chips, the Wii and gamecube have Panasonic disc drives and audio hardware...

Watching the alliances and components and stuff that go into things sometimes can be interesting. XD
(The Mega Drive meanwhile had Yamaha components in it. Also, The Dreamcast ran Windows CE. Suggesting it's possible that Sega had some influence on Microsoft entering the console market.)

How many titles were produced for this add-on, and did the guy find them with it? They would make for some very interesting Let's Play videos.

CrystalShadow:
The Dreamcast ran Windows CE. Suggesting it's possible that Sega had some influence on Microsoft entering the console market.)

They did, to an extent. Back in the early 90's there was a PC/Mega Drive(Genesis) hybrid that was released. It had a sliding panel on the front that allowed access to either uses.

008Zulu:
How many titles were produced for this add-on, and did the guy find them with it? They would make for some very interesting Let's Play videos.

CrystalShadow:
The Dreamcast ran Windows CE. Suggesting it's possible that Sega had some influence on Microsoft entering the console market.)

They did, to an extent. Back in the early 90's there was a PC/Mega Drive(Genesis) hybrid that was released. It had a sliding panel on the front that allowed access to either uses.

... Mmm. That's not a very clear point though. PC's are made by many companies, and while most of them have microsoft OSes on them, it doesn't mean Microsoft had anything to do with the hardware.

It could be though... Who knows.

It's kind of funny, because Sega, like Microsoft is an American company. (well, to an extent. They have a very prominent Japanese branch that has had a lot of influence on their success.)

CrystalShadow:
... Mmm. That's not a very clear point though. PC's are made by many companies, and while most of them have microsoft OSes on them, it doesn't mean Microsoft had anything to do with the hardware.

It could be though... Who knows.

It's kind of funny, because Sega, like Microsoft is an American company. (well, to an extent. They have a very prominent Japanese branch that has had a lot of influence on their success.)

Oh, SEGA being taken out of the console race had everything to do with Microsoft. The DreamCast and the NAOMI were co-built by Microsoft and SEGA, and when it failed developers were left with DreamCast devkits, which is essentially a customized Windows box, and Microsoft was left with a bad investment.

So they turned it upside down. They built a slightly updated Windows Box to replace the DreamCast, using some very undocumented DirectX improvements, and shipped the devkits and the console in order to make a quick profit. While the reverse will prove to be true in time, they thought the XBox could easily receive ports of PC games and other PC software, and thus marketed it as an all-in-one entertainment system, supposedly better than the PlayStation's game console/DVD player brand.
It even reached a point where Microsoft marketed some PS/2 adapters for the XBox controller ports, even when no game or software were ever developed for it.

So in our parallel universe where Sony and Nintendo join forces, Microsoft would still enter the console race after SEGA was taken down. I'd say that that partnership was doomed to fail, though, because Sony would try to capitalize on the more mature market, as they've learned from its film division, and Nintendo would be overbearingly family-friendly - and with no real competition, they would eventually break off to create 2 different standards, or game consoles which use almost the same tech, but marketed for different audiences.

VinLAURiA:
To be perfectly fair, Stew, the deal breaking down wasn't entirely Nintendo's fault, nor was it a clear-cut betrayal. There were some pretty nasty terms in Sony's favor in that whole deal that Nintendo was wise to back out of, such as Sony taking complete profits from all software sales on the system. It's possible that staying on would've been an even bigger mistake, considering how much the deal would've made them Sony's bitch.

yeah, that's ultimately the thing; if anyone is to blame for that, it's Sony. They tried to fuck over Nintendo and then whined and moaned when they got caught. Placing Nintendo as the villains is INSANE when you consider the circumstances and Nintendo had every right to humiliate Sony. And that's also before we get into how the reason Sony was ever successful in the gaming landscape was because they got lucky. Look at them when they were up against strong competition and suddenly they collapse (like with the PS3, PSP, and Vita).

200. If one of these is in a gaming museum, then that's fine. But if even the one with the busted-up Gameboy doesn't have it, he really should donate it, or sell it to them.

Although I've thought about it a lot, and I'm glad what happened happened. Look at all the awesome games and hardware that came out of the split. I doubt Nintendo would have pushed the Gamecube's specs as hard as they did, Sony's PS2 might not exist, and with that, it's library.

That's an awesome piece of history though, if it's legit. If you popped it open it kinda looks like someone could have taken an old CD-ROM drive and put it in there. And you could easily put the logo on the controller, although the buttons seem like they're from Japan.

Aiddon:

VinLAURiA:
To be perfectly fair, Stew, the deal breaking down wasn't entirely Nintendo's fault, nor was it a clear-cut betrayal. There were some pretty nasty terms in Sony's favor in that whole deal that Nintendo was wise to back out of, such as Sony taking complete profits from all software sales on the system. It's possible that staying on would've been an even bigger mistake, considering how much the deal would've made them Sony's bitch.

yeah, that's ultimately the thing; if anyone is to blame for that, it's Sony. They tried to fuck over Nintendo and then whined and moaned when they got caught. Placing Nintendo as the villains is INSANE when you consider the circumstances and Nintendo had every right to humiliate Sony. And that's also before we get into how the reason Sony was ever successful in the gaming landscape was because they got lucky. Look at them when they were up against strong competition and suddenly they collapse (like with the PS3, PSP, and Vita).

Nintendo and Sony were both assholes in this mess. Why are you trying to spin this into Sony being this monstrous villain here. This is a significant part of history and reminder of what could have been a very different story.

It's not an add-on. It's an independent unit that plays SNES carts and SNES-CD games.

AgentCooper:

Nintendo and Sony were both assholes in this mess. Why are you trying to spin this into Sony being this monstrous villain here. This is a significant part of history and reminder of what could have been a very different story.

Uh, because that's what happened. They tried to screw over Nintendo, they got caught, and they were rightfully humiliated when they were caught. And that's what KILLS me; that they were incompetent in their fuckery. If they were gonna be scumbags they should have at least been COMPETENT scumbags. Devil's advocate only works when there's logic to it.

Aiddon:

AgentCooper:

Nintendo and Sony were both assholes in this mess. Why are you trying to spin this into Sony being this monstrous villain here. This is a significant part of history and reminder of what could have been a very different story.

Uh, because that's what happened. They tried to screw over Nintendo, they got caught, and they were rightfully humiliated when they were caught. And that's what KILLS me; that they were incompetent in their fuckery. If they were gonna be scumbags they should have at least been COMPETENT scumbags. Devil's advocate only works when there's logic to it.

Both were fighting over software licensing and each company wanted more for their own investment to retain rights. No realistic deal was going to be reach under Sony or Nintendo. It was going to be a cluster fuck no matter who agreed to what terms. Sony fanboys say it was Nintendo being scumbags and Nintendo fanboys saying Sony was the scumbag. They were both scumbags and the deal was destined to fail from the get go.

Also, I am done talking with you. kick rocks.

That guy needs to clean his damn kitchen, maybe he can sell the thing to get enough money for a maid or something, jesus

StewShearer:
Sony decided to take its little add-on and use it as the foundation for the original PlayStation which, of course, would go on to wipe the floor with Nintendo's N64 a few years later.

...

No? Super Mario 64. Just to START.

StewShearer:
You see, while they're rivals in the gaming-sphere today, back in 1988 the two partnered up to produce a disc-based add-on for the SNES. Sony would go on to unveil said add-on at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. Unfortunately for them, Nintendo decided to pull some shenanigans and, a day later, announced that it was cancelling their deal and would instead be entering into a new partnership with Sony's rivals at Phillips. Understandably peeved, Sony decided to take its little add-on and use it as the foundation for the original PlayStation which, of course, would go on to wipe the floor with Nintendo's N64 a few years later.

To be fair, I think the reason Nintendo decided to partner with Phillips was because of licensing issues. If Nintendo had stuck with Sony, Sony would have had complete control over the CD addon, as well as dominant control over the addon's software. At least, that's what I've heard.

Aiddon:

Uh, because that's what happened. They tried to screw over Nintendo, they got caught, and they were rightfully humiliated when they were caught. And that's what KILLS me; that they were incompetent in their fuckery. If they were gonna be scumbags they should have at least been COMPETENT scumbags. Devil's advocate only works when there's logic to it.

Seriously you really believe that?
Sony entered into an agreement with Nintendo, an AGREEMENT, both companies agreed to the conditions that Sony had put forth and then spent their time, money and effort to design, prototype and advertise at E3. Then Nintendo turned around and betrayed Sony by abandoning the agreement mere days later. I don't care how much of a Nintendo fanboy you are, that is not acceptable and I guarantee if the shoe was on the other foot you'd be screaming blue murder about Sony betraying Nintendo. Remember no-one put a gun to Nintendo's head and forced them to go into the partnership, they chose to agree to the terms then their arrogance came out and they just up and abandoned their partners when someone else offered a better deal AFTER Sony had already put the effort in.

Frankly Sony had every reason to be pissed at what Nintendo did and I am glad they got their dews, Nintendo is still as arrogant and self centered today with region lock and using whatever they can to make everyone else suffer to ensure you pay a premium, there's a reason they permanently lost the lead in the console market and frankly I'm glad they did as their greed was their undoing.

Aiddon:
that's also before we get into how the reason Sony was ever successful in the gaming landscape was because they got lucky. Look at them when they were up against strong competition and suddenly they collapse (like with the PS3, PSP, and Vita).

There was no luck involved, Sony was smart and knew what they needed to do to create killer systems that people wanted and devs wanted to make games on. PS1, 2 and 4 all won because they were affordable, did the job well and were as simple and cheap as possible for devs to make games for. There was no proprietary media (mini disc), nor did they gimp the system with outdated technology (cartridges in N64). The systems that didn't do so well were when they acted like Nintendo, they were arrogant after the PS2 and let their success get to them and the PS3, PSP and Vita suffered from it. Even then though they learned from their mistakes and the PS3 eventually became the system that sold the most so it was no collapse or failure, even the PSP sold well (not winning is not collapsing, you can succeed in second place). Only the Vita could truly be called a failure because of the proprietary memory, which again was a Nintendo like move (N64 - Cartridge, Gamecube - Mini disc)

I get it, as a Nintendo fan your sick of being mocked, your system ridiculed etc. But like it or not there's a reason for it, and while you may be happy to accept what they do because the games they offer are worth it to you not everyone else is and the horrible sales of the Wii U is just the latest evidence of that. The only area that Nintendo have done well in is handhelds, which one could argue no-one else ever truly took on other than Sony (whom did well with their PSP) so really they just found their niche.

Also note I am not a Sony fanboy, I have Playstation, Xbox, PC and Nintendo systems. I love to play games regardless of what system their on. As a result I don't have any issue in calling out any of the companies when they fuck up. I am merely explaining why I don't believe your view is fair or correct based on known facts. If you there's evidence that Sony had acted in bad faith please do provide it, I will happily stand corrected if that is the case.

marioandsonic:

To be fair, I think the reason Nintendo decided to partner with Phillips was because of licensing issues. If Nintendo had stuck with Sony, Sony would have had complete control over the CD addon, as well as dominant control over the addon's software. At least, that's what I've heard.

From what I read that is indeed the case, but if they didn't want to agree to the conditions then they should have negotiated a better deal with Sony or gone the Phillips beforehand rather than wait until the addon was prototyped and even exhibited at E3 to then bail on them. These things don't get designed overnight, Nintendo would have had plenty of time to iron out the license agreement before hand and even go to Phillips and other companies to see what they could offer if they had wanted rather than wait till afterwards.

 

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