The figure means the rare console has been sold for three times the previous record price for a piece of gaming memorabilia: a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. sold for $100k last year.
However, the prototype was expected to have sold for an even higher amount, considering its owner claimed to have turned down a private offer of over $1m.
The Nintendo PlayStation prototype is said to be one of 200 units made for Sony’s failed partnership with Nintendo in the early 1990s, which was its first major move into video games and eventually led to it entering the market on its own.
The PlayStation was originally envisioned as a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo, which would boost Nintendo’s console with significant processing power and speed.
The prototype sold at auction – said to be the last remaining in the world, with all others assumed destroyed – was once owned by the first CEO of Sony’s games division, Olaf Olafsson.
When Olafsson left Sony to join the Advanta banking corporation, he took the prototype with him and eventually it ended up in an auction lot following the company’s bankruptcy.
The Nintendo PlayStation features a slot for Super Famicom and Super Nintendo games, and also a CD-ROM drive intended to play disc-based media and games.
The prototype is able to play music CDs like the commercially produced PlayStation, but there is no proprietary software known to have been produced.
For more on Sony’s failed partnership with Nintendo, read VGC’s recent Road to PS5: PSOne’s betrayal and revenge story feature.