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Rare Nintendo Play Station console sells for $360,000 at auction

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A prototype of the Nintendo Play Station, a console that never came to market, fetched $360,000 at an auction over the weekend, CNN reports. Greg McLemore, founder of Pets.com and Toys.com had the winning bid, beating out other collectors, including Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR.

The console is one of only 200 prototypes created from a failed 1991 partnership between Sony and Nintendo. Forbes describes the unit as basically a Super NES with a CD-ROM drive. Valerie McLeckie of Heritage Auctions, where the console was offered, tells CNN it’s believed the other 199 prototypes were destroyed when the Sony/Nintendo deal fell through. Sony released its first PlayStation in 1994.

According to Polygon, this prototype of the Nintendo Play Station was discovered by a man named Terry Diebold in a box of stuff once owned by former Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Olaf Olafsson. The two had both worked at Advanta Corporation and when that company went bankrupt, the console was one of many items that ended up at private auction, which is how Diebold acquired it.

Heritage Auctions/HA.com

McLemore says the console was “the single most expensive thing I’ve ever bought outside of a house,” adding “it was worth it especially when combined with the rest of my collection,” CNN reports. That collection includes more than 800 coin-operated machines as well as smaller games, magazines, and art, which McLemore wants to use to create a permanent museum, according to Forbes.

“I’m looking to not have this machine just buried in a closet somewhere,” McLemore says.

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