Sunday July 17, 2016

Tearing Apart The Nintendo PlayStation

Ben Heck goes inside the add-on for the Super Nintendo that never made it past the prototype stage. This teardown shows that the "Nintendo PlayStation" was really just an SNES with a CD-ROM add-on, and it was probably meant to be a competitor to the Sega CD.

The CD drive is completely self-contained, and the numerous random leads say this is most certainly a prototype unit. Surprisingly, the PCB for this prototype unit isn’t much different from a standard Super Nintendo. The RAM chips are laid out the same, the architecture of the system is pretty much the same, and even some part numbers are the same. This means the Nintendo PlayStation wouldn’t have enough RAM to make full use of the CD-ROM. To fix this small shortcoming, the designers of this system put 256k of RAM on the cartridge. Yes, a cartridge would have been required to use the CD drive, and the cartridge itself would have been fairly expensive.