This, our dear readers, is an extremely rare prototype of a gaming console that was thought to be entirely destroyed. This particular product has been developed by Sony and Nintendo back in 1991; even before the Sony PlayStation entered the market. Dubbed as the Play Station (yes, with a space), it marked the beginning of a fierce rivalry between these two giant gaming companies.
Back in CES 1991, Nintendo made the surprising announcement of partnering with Philips, a European company, to come up with a CD-ROM-based gaming console. This came as a surprise to everyone, but Sony was especially shocked by this unveiling.
The thing is, Sony was actually in a partnership with Nintendo to come up with a gaming console that would feature both an SNES cartridge slot and a CD drive, giving developers two formats to choose from. Presumably, Nintendo wasn’t happy with the contract it had with Sony, and decided to abandon its partnership with a fellow Japanese company and partnered with Philips.
As a result, Sony persevered and eventually released the first iteration of the PlayStation, which sold well over 100 million units by the time it was discontinued. The Philips CD-i (the product that Nintendo and Philips worked together), on the other hand, only went on to sell a million units.
If the partnership between Sony and Nintendo worked out back then, who knows how much it could impact the gaming industry today. Sony is clearly the gaming console leader right now with its highly successful PlayStation 4 console. It has sold over 22.3 million units worldwide, while Nintendo’s Wii U has been the company’s slowest-selling console to date.
That being said, Nintendo is still dominating the portable gaming market with its Nintendo 3DS lineup, while Sony’s PlayStation Vita isn’t exactly receiving much support from the company itself and gamers alike. If things had turned out differently 26 years ago, Nintendo could have been the clear leader in both market segments.
(Source: Ars Technica)