San Francisco: A rare "Play Station" prototype developed by Nintendo and Sony during the 1990s, sold for a whopping $360,000 (approximately Rs 2.6 crore) at an auction.
The "Play Station" is believed to be the "only surviving example of 200 pre-production consoles that spawned from a once promising partnership between Sony and Nintendo," according to the US-based Heritage Auctions, which sold the console.
Video game collector Greg McLemore, founder of Pets.com and Toys.com had the winning bid, Forbes reported on Saturday.
Also known as the Super NES CD-ROM System, the prototype has a slot for Super Famicom and Super Nintendo games as well as a disc drive to play a proprietary CD-ROM "Super Disc" based format.
At one time, this reportedly single-surviving unit was owned by Olaf Olaffson, the founder, first president, and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., and eventually found its way into the hands of a private owner by pure chance.
"The other 199 prototypes purported to exist were allegedly destroyed when the partnership between Nintendo and Sony was officially severed, and, though it isn't certain, it is entirely possible this unit narrowly missed that fate," Valarie McLeckie, Consignment Director, Video Games, at Heritage Auctions, said in a statement.
"While there are vast differences between this 1990-1992 prototype and the PlayStation console that was eventually released to consumers by Sony in 1994, it is technically the earliest existing prototype for Sony's first home console video game and an invaluable piece of video game history," McLeckie said.
In an effort to own the prototype, collectors cast 57 bids at the auction held last Friday.