This may be your last chance to own a rare Nintendo PlayStation controller

July 9, 2024
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The Nintendo PlayStation was Sony’s first attempt to break into the gaming market. It was more or less a Super Nintendo console upgraded with a CD-ROM drive, allowing games to incorporate more multimedia content from Sony’s proprietary Super Disc format.

The collaboration collapsed after Nintendo announced a partnership with Philips in 1991, and the 200 prototypes of the Nintendo PlayStation were thought to have all been destroyed — at least until one surfaced in 2015 and was eventually sold at auction to the founder of Pets.com and Toys.com.

Heritage Auctions hasn’t shared the provenance behind this second Nintendo PlayStation auction but describes the prototype controller as having “the familiar casing of a Super Nintendo controller but branded with ‘Sony PlayStation’ in dark gray on the front.” Despite a “few little dings on the back,” the prototype is in “very nice condition,” but Heritage Auctions can’t confirm if it’s functional given the extreme scarcity of the console it’s designed to work with. As a result, there will be no returns for the winning bidder.

An even bigger question than where this prototype was discovered is how much it will sell for. In 2020, a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. sold for $114,000, and less than a year later, another copy sold for $660,000. But spending that much money on a game you never intend to play seems like a bargain compared to the copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold in 2021 for a staggering $2 million.

Demand for retro collectibles hasn’t cooled since then, and while this controller may not go for as much as the Nintendo PlayStation console did, it’s still incredibly rare hardware that may never turn up again.

According to Heritage Auctions, bidding on this prototype will start on August 2nd and will end on August 24th, when we’ll find out what a probably unusable controller is worth to one lucky bidder.

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