Hardware hacker Ben Heckendorn, better known as Ben Heck, has reached a significant milestone in the repair of the famous Super Nintendo PlayStation device. While the device has been able to power on for some time, Heck was finally able to get a CD-ROM to boot up on the Super Nintendo PlayStation.
For those who may not know, after the success of the Super Nintendo, Nintendo started working with Sony to developer a new device that would allow gamers to play both their cartridges, as well as the more powerful compact discs. However, before the device could be released, the relationship between Nintendo and Sony soured, and Nintendo went on to work with Philips.
The end result was Nintendo focusing its efforts on the Nintendo 64, and Sony using what it had learned to create the first PlayStation. It’s an interesting bit of history, and could have completely changed the world of gaming had the relationship between Nintendo and Sony continued.
As for the Super Nintendo PlayStation unit that Heck has been working on, it came into his possession from the owner, who lent the device to Heck on the promise that Heck would have it working by the 2017 Midwest Gaming Classic. That event kicks off this weekend, so it seems Heck was able to complete the work just in time.
No official titles are known to have been created for the device, which isn’t surprising considering it was likely still in early development when it was scrapped. That means gamers have had to create a special fan-built game for the device, to allow Heck and others to test the progress they’ve made.
It’s interesting to look back at such a unique device and think about what could have been for Nintendo. After the "Super Nintendo PlayStation" was canned, Nintendo continued on with cartridges with the Nintendo 64, and finally moved to mini-discs with the GameCube. But even as the industry has shifted to a completely disc-based standard, and that Nintendo followed suit with the Wii and Wii U, the company has moved back to cartridges with its newest device, the Nintendo Switch.
Sony, for its part, clearly learned a lot of from the experience with Nintendo and went on to create one of the best selling gaming consoles. Six years later, Sony released the PlayStation 2, which is the best selling gaming console in history.
It’ll be interesting to see if Heck or others are able to continue progress on the Super Nintendo PlayStation device.