One of the last known copies of a video game console that never made it to the market, the Nintendo PlayStation, was sold for $ 360,000 at auction.
Video game collector Greg McLemore, who founded Pets.com and Toys.com during the dot-com boom, won the console, beating other collectors, including Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey.
"It's the most expensive thing I've ever bought outside of a home," McLemore told CNN Business by email. "I believe I achieved a lot … For me, it was worth it, especially when combined with the rest of my collection, whose story tells a story that I want to keep for society".
McLemore's collection includes coin-operated arcade games, like Atari's "Pong", which is the first commercially successful video game.
The Nintendo PlayStation is believed to be the only prototype left of a failed partnership between Sony and Nintendo. Nintendo PlayStation is a common nickname for what really should be a version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that supported CDs.
The two video game giants announced in 1991 that they would work together, but produced only 200 units before the deal failed.
"The other 199 prototypes that allegedly existed were supposedly destroyed when the partnership between Nintendo and Sony was officially broken, and while it is not certain, it is entirely possible that this unit narrowly missed that target," Valarie McLeckie, director of consignment video games at Heritage Auctions, which held the auction for the console, said in a press release.
Subsequently, Sony focused on its own line of consoles and launched its first PlayStation in 1994.
The Nintendo PlayStation was owned by Olaf Olafsson, founder and first CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. He then left Sony for the financial services company Advanta in 1996. When he left Advanta in 1999, he left the console in the office.
It ended up in the hands of Terry Diebold, who inadvertently bought it during an auction for leftover office supplies at Advanta, which went bankrupt in 2009.
Terry Diebold and his son, Dan, opened the auction for the Nintendo PlayStation in February.
As part of the history of video games, Nintendo PlayStation has also attracted museum interest.
"I'm glad that the Nintendo PlayStation is highlighting the need to preserve video games and, obviously, I wish we could include it in the museum's collection," said Shannon Symonds, curator of electronic games at The Strong museum in Rochester. , NY "But we never had the goal of getting all parts of the history of games. In addition to being prohibitive in terms of money and space, there is also no need to tell the history of video games."
McLemore said the console will appear at several exhibitions in the near future. He is already working with the USC Pacific Asia Museum in California on an interactive game for the spring and summer of 2021, which may include the Nintendo PlayStation.
Eventually, he will consider opening a permanent museum after seeing how things go with the exhibitions he planned. "If that works, fantastic. Otherwise, I have already identified other institutions that I think could be a good foster parent."