ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

Way before the Playstation was a mere glint in the eye of Ken Kutaragi, did you know that Nintendo and Sony had carved an uneasy alliance in order to usher in a new generation of gaming? Madness, I say!

This never released holy grail for console enthusiasts managed to make it to prototype stage where 200 were made, but after the alliance fell apart, like a Westerosi wedding, the hardware was thought to be lost. Until a wild Nintendo PlayStation SNES appeared and began making rounds on Reddit...

WTF Is A Nintendo Play Station?

Hey there good lookin'.
Hey there good lookin'.

Back in 1988, Nintendo and Sony had put pen to paper to team up on a CD peripheral for the SNES, and a stand alone CD-ROM based version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), that would play both SNES branded cartridge games and CD-ROM titles.

Totally not ironically titled SNES-CD, the project eventually ground to a halt over licensing issues - Sony proposed to retain and develop the SNES-CD format, while Nintendo didn't want to cede so much control to another company.

SNES-CD concept
SNES-CD concept

So in order to counter the proposition, Nintendo pulled off one of the most famous backstabs in gaming history by going behind Sony's backs and jumping into bed with their direct competitors Phillips, with the CD-i being the fruits of their spoils:

Remember this?
Remember this?

Who would have thought Nintendo would end up being one of the masters of troll-dom? A day after Sony announced the "PlayStation SNES" at the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show, Nintendo publicly announced their partnership with Phillips, thus creating the ill-fated Phillips CD-i and a spate of iconically divisive Nintendo branded CD-ROM games like...

Then later, Sony would go on to create the perfect side-eye moment - the PlayStation, which pretty much halted Nintendo's vice like grip on the market, and went on to break numerous awards, make history and establish one of gaming's biggest and most awe-inspiring brands.

Back To The Future

Redditor analogueboy recently blew off the tops of gamers' heads when he managed to get his lucky hands on one of the ultra-rare prototypes. Here's what he had to say about it:

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.

Olaf Olafsson (owner of one of the greatest names on the planet) was the president and chief executive officer of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Inc. at the time the PlayStation SNES was in development. He also oversaw the Nintendo deal and the proper PlayStation's 1994 release.

Cor, you beauty!
Cor, you beauty!

Right, enough talk, have a look at the prototype Sony/Nintendo/SonTendo/Ninty PlayStation SNES box:

PlayStation SNES

I'm not surprised Nintendo was upset, seeing as Sony's branding is rife all over the console...

Here are all the legitimate ports for the upgrading to CD, complete with split A/V ports that are in-keeping with Sony's design. Plus the SNES controller ports are clearly visible above...

The SNES controller was rebranded to Sony's tastes...

But still had the official Super Famicom branding on the reverse...

And here's an iconic SNES cartridge with a label in written Japanese...

Analogueboy even went as far as to make a video of his find, and explore it in a bit more detail. Check it out:

Warning: Some of the language is a bit rude, so watch out

Unfortunately, the AC adaptor is missing, and we're also unsure what's on the cartridge and CD which came with it! But all in all, this is an historical find. Look at it, in all of its right angled and yellowing glory! Man, I wish this had come to pass, but at least we can bask in the brilliance of Sony's 20th anniversary.

(Sources: analogueboy/Reddit, Eurogamer, Nintendo Life, okazgame/YouTube)


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