Mysterious Disappearance of a Super Nintendo Prototype After Surging to $3.2 Million in Auction Bids

  • 12-05-2024 |
  • Ava Harrison

A Super Nintendo prototype unexpectedly vanished following a surge to over $3.2 million in bids at an auction, leaving everyone puzzled.

This past week, an uncommon prototype of the Super Famicom, known globally as the Super NES later on, made its appearance on a Japanese auction platform. The bidding for this item soared into the million-dollar range almost immediately, before the auction listing was abruptly withdrawn, and the reasons behind this remain a mystery.

When I last monitored the Yahoo Japan auction, the bids had started at a modest amount but swiftly escalated to a staggering $3.2 million, as reported by Kotaku. Although the auction's specifics can still be viewed in its original posting, the final bid amount has since been obscured following the auction's conclusion. Rumors suggest that the bids may have even approached nearly $7 million, a figure I have yet to confirm independently.

The authenticity of the prototype is also a subject of debate. The seller's account is noted for its positive reviews on less rare items, and the console closely resembles those prototypes showcased in Japanese video game media from that era. However, as indicated by Chris Covell on Twitter, there are discrepancies when compared to previously seen models, leading to speculation about its authenticity or the possibility of it being a previously undisclosed prototype. Without expert analysis by a historian, its real value remains uncertain.

The abrupt termination of the auction is not entirely understood, but speculations among the collector community suggest fake bids could be to blame. Given that online auction, platforms are typically not well-equipped to manage the sale of unique rarities such as this, and considering a similar event where the Nintendo PlayStation prototype sold for 'only' $360,000 in 2020, doubts arise as to whether a genuine buyer would emerge, willing to pay significantly more for this Super Famicom prototype.

I hope that this will not be the end of the story for this console. Ideally, it will be verified as legitimate and sold profitably to a benevolent collector who would then make it accessible to video game historians for thorough examination and documentation. While this might be optimistic, it reflects the ongoing state of preserving video game history.

However, it is certain that this console, provenance aside, would not serve as an ideal medium for experiencing the finest SNES games ever created.