I've love to have seen what could have been.
Yeah, same here. I also wonder how the Play Station/whatever it was compares technologically to the actual PlayStation. I imagine the console we ended up getting from Sony was more powerful than what would have been. But who really knows? A handful of people on the planet?
This interests me because of the technical differences between the Saturn and the PlayStation. The Saturn being (to this day) premium 2D hardware with super-deluxe parallax support etc but weird almost auxiliary 3D hardware. The PlayStation was the opposite situation. Very good 3D capabilities (at the time), but a headache for replicating the performance of the 2D arcade hardware of the day.
I imagine the Play Station/Super Disc was somewhere nearer the Saturn. Nice beefcake-ish 2D support, less in the way of 3D capabilities. I'm just postulating, here.
Would be interesting to see what we'd be playing today if it worked out.
Interesting, of course! But I don't personally think we'd be better off or anything. Some of the world's greatest games were born out of that rivalry between Nintendo and Sony, particularly between N64 and PlayStation (with the SEGA Saturn looking on in envy).
I'd wager that if the Super Disc had gone ahead, we'd be without Ocarina of Time (and therefore Majora's Mask, and therefore every other Zelda since), we'd be without all games that were ever a PlayStation (1, 2 or 3!) exclusive. No God of War. No Uncharted.
It would be so very, very different. You'd be a dangerous man if you had a time machine, Az! Imagine Doc Brown screaming "Marty! Don't use the fucking time machine it's gonna ruin your life!"
Vorash Kadan said:
I wonder who botched the contract? Rumor is that Sony wrote in a larger share of Nintendo than originally agreed upon, ticking of Nintendo & mqking them worry about a possible forced takeover from Sony against them.
I've also heard pretty much the exact opposite. Sony being new in the field, felt they had a really good thing with the Play Station, and that ultimately Nintendo weren't willing to offer Sony enough for their work. Sony's entertainment division, afraid of being swallowed by Nintendo decided that their product was strong enough without Nintendo, and developed it into a stand-alone console.
I've also heard lots of other juicy bits and bobs. Nobody actually knows. Certainly nobody that posts on this board. There'll be a few people pottering about Japan who could enlighten us. All I can find tell of on the internets is "contractual and licensing problems", or things of that same basic definition. Here's a randomly short history of the PSone!
In 1988, Sony entered into an agreement with Nintendo to develop a CD-ROM attachment, known as the Super Disc, for the soon-to-be released Super Nintendo. Due to many contractual and licensing problems, the Super Disc was never released. Instead, a modified version was introduced by Sony in 1991, in a system called the Play Station.
The original Play Station read these Super Discs, special interactive CDs based on technology developed by Sony and Phillips called CD-ROM/XA. This extension of the CD-ROM format allowed audio, video and computer data to be accessed simultaneously by the processor. The Play Station also read audio CDs, and had a cartridge port for accepting Super Nintendo game cartridges. The Play Station was envisioned as the core of a home multimedia center. Sony only manufactured about 200 of them before deciding to retool the design.
The new design, dubbed the PlayStation X, or PSX, dropped the Super Nintendo cartridge port and focused solely on CD-ROM-based games. The component hardware inside the console was revamped as well, to ensure an immersing and responsive gaming experience. Launched in Japan in December of 1994, and in the United States and Europe in September of 1995, the PlayStation quickly became the most popular system available.