When the only known "Nintendo PlayStation" prototype—a 1992 collaboration with Sony on a SNES with a CD drive—went up for auction last month, the bids started to climb quickly. After about a day and with a few weeks to go before the final auction, it looked like the console would sell for at least $350,000. Instead, it sold today for $300,000, with an added $80,000 in fees going to the auction house.
At this time, it is unknown who won the auction. After the early bidding approached $300,000, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey came forward as one of the high bidders, saying he intended to add the unit to what he claims is the world's largest collection of video game consoles. The high figure and Luckey's comments sparked response on social media, with many gesturing to the amount of good a six-figure donation could do for other game preservation efforts.
The Nintendo PlayStation's previous owner, Terry Diebold, announced his plans to sell the console last year. Speaking with Kotaku, Diebold said he once turned down an offer of $1.2 million for the prototype from a collector in Norway. Diebold also said that after splitting that seven-figure sum halfway with his son, paying taxes, and paying down debts, he wouldn't have much to show for it.
Ahead of today's live auction session, the high proxy bid for the Nintendo PlayStation fell from $350,000 to $280,000. Ars Technica reports that during today's bidding period, only one bid of an added $20,000 was lodged, resulting in the final $300,000 price paid.
Still, that's a record auction price for a single piece of gaming equipment, smashing the record set last year by the $100,150 sale of a near-mint Super Mario Bros. copy.
Since 2015, when Diebold's son discovered the unit in his father's possession, the Nintendo PlayStation has been extensively toured around the world and shown off at retro game shows and conventions. Console modder Ben Heckendorn was also given the opportunity to take the console apart, document its internals, and attempt to restore any unique functionality. Though this is the only confirmed model still in existence, we do know that others were made. This one might vanish from the public eye as it enters a private collection, but one or more of its siblings could still surface at any time.