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Modder Gets Nintendo PlayStation Working

The divorce that changed video game history.

The Nintendo PlayStation which, up until recently, was thought to have been lost to the video game history books, is now up and running thanks to console modder Ben Heckendorn.

An agreement between Sony and Nintendo in the early 1990s led to the development of a 200 or so prototypes of the Nintendo PlayStation. It was a souped-up version of the SNES with the ability to play both cartridges and CD-ROMs. What happened during the 1991 Consumer Electronics Show is almost as significant as the outcome of the Console Wars, as Nintendo made a last minute decision to ditch Sony as a provider, and instead announced a new partnership with Phillips on the same stage on which it was set to showcase to Nintendo PlayStation.

What followed was the disastrous Philips CD-i. Some failures can be a blessing in disguise, however, as Sony decided to continue pursuing a place in the console market, releasing one of the most commercially and critically successful consoles of all time. Sadly all of the 200 Nintendo PlayStation prototypes were destroyed… or so we thought.

In July 2015 Reddit user ‘Dnldbld’ claimed to have one of the prototypes, and posted pictures online to prove it. After much speculation, fast forward a year and console modder Ben Heckendorn managed to get his hands on the hitherto fabled system. On his show, the ‘Ben Heck Show’, he managed to get some parts working, but it wasn’t a fully functioning console emulator yet.

Now, after several more attempts over a year period, the Nintendo PlayStation can run games off of its fully functioning disc drive. Since no official games were made for the console Ben can only test out emulators, of which there are two. However, now that it’s better understood and running CD-ROMs, it provides a huge opportunity for emulators to port workable games on the Nintendo PlayStation, and perhaps give people a taste of what could have been.

What do you think of the idea of an early ‘90s Nintendo PlayStation? Let us know in the comments section below.

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