Because I have the largest game console collection, and I am on a quest to digitize and preserve the history of physical videogames. Perfect VR will ensure the original experience lives on forever, but we need to keep these things alive and functional in the meanwhile.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) February 14, 2020
In a tweet posted on Thursday, the former Oculus boss – who has an estimated net worth of $700 million – revealed he had bid for the Nintendo PlayStation and said he was “on a quest to digitize and preserve the history of physical videogames.”
Luckey claimed he has “the largest video game collection.” He added: ”Perfect VR will ensure the original experience lives on forever, but we need to keep these things alive and functional in the meanwhile.”
Challenged on why he intended to purchase the Nintendo PlayStation prototype for his personal collection, rather than donating the rare device to a public museum, Luckey said:
“Public availability is just a matter of time, I have been keeping things low key until then. I am preserving the original copies in the most advanced videogame storage facility ever constructed.”
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 up for 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.