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That Nintendo PlayStation prototype has been restored to working condition

May 5, 2017 | By Alex Wawro




Over a year after a "Nintendo PlayStation" SNES-CD prototype was found in an attic in Pennsylvania, engineer and console modder Ben Heck says he's restored it to working condition -- and today he posted the video to prove it.

This is a big deal for video game history buffs because these prototypes are incredibly rare (this is the first one to ever be publicly dissected) and this particular unit was basically nonfunctional when it was found. 

As Ars Technica points out, it's also important for emulation, as Heck's attempts to get homebrew games running off burned CDs on the now-functioning prototype (no actual games were ever made for the hardware) revealed some inaccuracies in the emulator the games were designed to run on. 

Last summer Heck posted a video (after gaining permission to mess with the prototype from owners Dan and Terry Diebold) in which he and the Diebolds told the story of how the prototype was found, then carefully tore down the console to show how it worked.

Heck went on to try and get the console working again, but only succeeded in getting it to a point where it could read data from SNES cartridges; the CD drive was still out of commission. In today's video, he explains that it's working again and is now capable of reading audio CDs and game CDs -- even though he's not exactly sure how he did it. 

"I came in this morning and jiggled the cables around and got ready to work on it some more, and all of a sudden it works!" Heck said "What changed? Did like, a magical elf come in overnight?"

You can see him sort out what happened in the full video above. Now that the prototype seems fully functional, Heck says he plans to return it to the Diebolds later this year.  



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