This Extremely Rare Nintendo PlayStation Prototype Is About to Be Auctioned Off for Big Money

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com
Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

One of the greatest near-misses in video game history was the proposed collaboration between Nintendo and Sony on a state-of-the-art console in the late 1980s that was dubbed the Nintendo PlayStation. The device would have used CD-ROMs in addition to cartridges for game software, promising a more advanced experience than Nintendo’s trademark system of the era, the Super Nintendo.

It never came to pass, but now video game collectors will have a chance to own a very rare prototype of the system. Heritage Auctions is set to offer the Nintendo PlayStation hardware to the highest bidder in March 2020.

The partnership came about after a Sony Computer Entertainment engineer named Ken Kutaragi designed the sound chip used in the Super Nintendo. That led to the companies discussing a disc-based Super Nintendo system, with a couple hundred prototypes made.

The deal fell apart, however, over money issues. Nintendo subsequently blindsided Sony by announcing a CD-ROM partnership with Philips—which also fell flat—just a day after Sony announced the console, stylized as “Play Station,” at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1991.

A rare Nintendo PlayStation prototype video game console is pictured
Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

The systems were relegated to video game myth for decades until a console eventually surfaced in 2015. Advanta Corporation, which counted former Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Olaf Olafsson among its board members, went bankrupt in 2009 and auctioned off items. Terry Diebold, an employee of Advanta, purchased several boxes of material and was surprised to find the Nintendo PlayStation among the contents, a likely result of Olafsson keeping some of his personal effects at company property.

It was Terry’s son, Dan, who identified the console as being the product of the Sony and Nintendo collaboration. Dan posted images on Reddit in 2015 and was met with some skepticism. That same year, the two traveled to Hong Kong for a video game expo where they powered on the machine and demonstrated that it still worked. (While no CD-ROMs were made for the system, the drive has been fixed so it works, and the device can also play Super Nintendo cartridges.)

After touring with it over the past several years, Terry and Dan Diebold have decided to part with it. The unit is thought to be the only one of its kind, with the rest having been destroyed following the dissolution of the Sony and Nintendo partnership. The machine will go up for auction between March 5 and 7, 2020, with online bids accepted beginning February 14.

Heritage says they don’t yet have a pre-auction estimate of its value, but game collectors aren’t shy about spending when it comes to rare items: Heritage sold a rare Mega Man cartridge for $75,000 in November. The Nintendo PlayStation system has already received an offer of $1.2 million from a collector in Norway, making it likely that the once-promising partnership between the tech giants will be highly profitable after all—for Terry Diebold, anyway.

[h/t Polygon]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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No Squawking, Please: A Backyard Bird Library Is the Star of This Livestream

Bird Library, YouTube
Bird Library, YouTube

Many people discovered backyard birding when they were quarantined in their homes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you have a vibrant wildlife population in your area, the Bird Library webcam is worth checking out. As Atlas Obscura reports, the bird feeder at the focus of the livestream resembles a tiny library where feathered guests can misbehave.

Librarian Rebecca Flowers and woodworker Kevin Cwalina were inspired to build the Bird Library in 2015. Located in a backyard in Charlottesville, Virginia, it features a miniature reading chair, bookshelves, and a reception desk. The decorations are even updated to match the seasons; the feeder currently sports a banner that says "Summer Reading." The main differences setting it apart from a real library are the bird seed scattered on the floor and the avian visitors.

The Bird Library attracts a diverse collection of patrons. Sparrows, cardinals, and mourning doves have been recorded perching on the librarian's desk and checking out the reading materials. The occasional squirrel has also been known to stop by.

Live video of the feeder streams on the Bird Library's YouTube page and website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can play the video below to check in on the current guests. If the backyard Bird Library has inspired you to find birds closer to home, here's some gear for beginner naturalists.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]