Rare prototype Nintendo PlayStation controller hits auction block

The controller has only sold once before publicly

Cover Image for Rare prototype Nintendo PlayStation controller hits auction block
Items from the prototype may never come to auction again. (Credit: Heritage)

An incredibly rare piece of video game history will hit the auction block next month at Heritage, marking the first time a prototype Nintendo PlayStation controller has been offered for sale on its own, and just the second time one has been seen at public auction.

The prototype Nintendo PlayStation, created in the early 1990s during a failed collaboration between Nintendo and Sony, set a record when it sold for $360,000 in March 2020, along with the only other controller from the console to be sold publicly.

That prototype console was originally purchased at an auction of abandoned property formerly owned by a Sony executive. The owner kept the console in his attic, until his son discovered it in 2015.

Only 200 were ever produced, with only one believed to exist today, as it is rumored that other prototypes were intentionally destroyed after the partnership between the two companies went south.

The console’s appearance at auction in 2020 caused a stir among collectors and video game fans around the world who had long believed the console did not exist.

While controllers from consoles of the era would normally be next-to-worthless, the mythic status of the console, and the incredible rarity of any items relating to it, make this one of the most intriguing finds in recent video game history.

The auction house notes in its lot description that due to a lack of hardware suitable for testing the controller, it will be sold “as is, with no returns.”

Emphasizing the immense rarity of the controller, Heritage writes in the lot description: “We have no idea if we'll get the chance to offer anything related to the Nintendo PlayStation ever again."

Will Stern is a reporter and editor for cllct.