ByNicholas Montegriffo, writer at
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Nicholas Montegriffo

Once thought to be a gaming urban legend, the Nintendo Playstation was confirmed to be a reality back in 2015 when Terry Diebold got his hands on the only known prototype of the mythical console.

The result of an aborted collaboration between and , the hybrid machine was a with a built-in CD-ROM drive, making it capable of playing CD-based games as well as classic cartridges. Unfortunately the partnership between Sony and Nintendo fell through before the system ever saw release, and the Nintendo never came to life... until now.

The Nintendo PlayStation: Gaming's Lost Treasure

[Credit: Ben Heck]
[Credit: Ben Heck]

Diebold discovered the lost console in a box of junk that he bought at an auction, but the machine was half-broken. So he took it to renowned console hacker/engineer Ben Heck, who took the device apart and figured out how it worked. Thanks to Heck's efforts, they even got the CD-drive working.

But a working console's no good without any games for it, and given the Nintendo PlayStation's unfortunate history, no titles were ever made for the doomed system. Luckily, while Heck was on his year-long quest to get the thing to work at all, some optimistic home-brew devs were actually making games for an emulator based on the console.

Faced with the exciting possibility of getting this unique artifact of gaming history to actually run something, Heck got back to work, and with a little tinkering and some sheer dumb luck, actually managed to run a game! Check out the video below, courtesy of The Ben Heck Show:

Watch Ben Heck actually play a game on the Nintendo PlayStation:

The results might seem underwhelming on the surface. Only one of the fan made games booted up, and it was glitching significantly, but it's still an amazing achievement keeping in mind that it was designed by people with no actual knowledge of the prototype's hardware.

After this initial success, Heck has confirmed that the game creator has updated their code, and the homebrew game now runs perfectly on this resurrected system.

Once again, a long-lost piece of gaming history has been brought to life by hard working fans. The video game industry generally doesn't take care to preserve its history, and it often falls to dedicated nerds, hackers and 'pirates' to restore abandoned content, resurrect cancelled games, or reveal prototypes that would never have otherwise seen the light of day.

A Blast From The Past, But Does It Have A Future?

What we got instead [Credit: Sony]
What we got instead [Credit: Sony]

The Nintendo PlayStation is a fascinating glimpse at a what-could-have been scenario if Nintendo hadn't backed out of their collaboration with Sony to make their next-gen follow up to the SNES. As it happens, Sony turned out to be more than capable of breaking into the market on their own terms, probably leaving Nintendo execs kicking themselves in regret after unleashing one of their biggest rivals in the console wars.

Sony PlayStation became one of the biggest names in gaming thanks to some smart marketing, such this classic commercial below:

Now that the Nintendo PlayStation exists after 25 years of living in the shadow of legend, what comes next is completely in the hands of the fans and home brew hobbyists that made this moment possible in the first place.

Whether or not this thawed-out caveman of a console has a future, Heck and co have made history.

Would you like to get your hands on a Nintendo PlayStation?


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