I imagine this won't be a significant loss to its new owner, but it's still unfortunate.
A girl can dream.
I don't know why I seem to be the only one who notices how the second half of the game is obviously missing.
I wonder how much of it is just bad memory since it has been like 15 years since I last played the second half of the game (I've replayed it a few times but always stop around the mushroom kingdom).
For the rest, we sorta have to look at what came later and work backwards from there to try to envision what the features might have looked like. For example:
> One of the most significant changes was the removal of the option to take multiple routes through the game that led to several possible endings, in contrast to the linear journey in the final product. 
Since this system eventually showed up in the game's sequel, Seiken Densetsu 3 (Now called "Trials of Mana" after its Switch port localization), we can probably assume that it would have worked something like that. It's also probably safe to assume that some of the other unused concepts from Secret of Mana eventually found their way into SD3. But I'm always hesitant to get too specific, since game developers change their mind all the time during development.
One of the best examples I can think of for this would be the Soul Reaver series, where the original title had a huge amount of content cut in order to deliver the game on time, instead ending on a cliffhanger and with the intention that Soul Reaver 2 would finish it up. We have a pretty good idea of what was supposed to happen in the original conception of the story, because we found a ton of leftover assets, voiceovers from unproduced cutscenes, and design documents. There's even a sequence of the main character "gazing into the future" with pieces of sequences that never occur (presumably they would have if the game had been finished as originally designed). By the time the sequels Soul Reaver 2 and Legacy of Kain: Defiance were produced, however, the story veered off into a much different direction. Some of the boss fights that were planned for Soul Reaver 1 ended up eventually happening in SR2 or LoK:D under very different circumstances, or were scrapped altogether.
He also released an album recently called tgr fuel: https://edharrison.bandcamp.com/album/tgr-fuel
That article also gives insight into why Kutaragi/Sony wanted to partner with Nintendo.
A quote by Kutaragi:
“I wanted to start up a business that would become a new major income source for the company in the future… [Sony executives] thought it would take too long to start a new business from scratch with venture capital. So the only way to initiate change was from the outside. We could join forces with the best-performing company in the field. We would sell them our technology, establish a track record, and use that as the springboard to future success. That was my reasoning.”
Also, from historian Reiji Asakura:
“Nintendo was concerned that its business would eventually be taken over by Sony if Sony continued to drive product development. Although Nintendo was dominant in the game-machine market, the company was fully aware that Sony had a superior research-and-development operation and thus had the potential to outstrip its competitors in the area of technological advancement.”
References are in the linked article.
In reality it seems like it was Sony's intention all along to use this as a stepping stone to competing with Nintendo directly anyway.
Also, the contract between Nintendo and Sony was signed in 1989, and Sony would have received all royalties from CD-ROM sales. This was at a time when it was still not clear that CD-ROMs would soon dominate the market. However, that had changed by 1991 when the Nintendo Play Station was revealed.
Then-president of Sony, Norio Ohga, said the following in his autobiography: “What we learned later was that Yamauchi’s son-in-law, then the head of Nintendo’s U.S. operations, had apparently nixed the deal. The son-in-law, Minoru Arakawa, had witnessed firsthand the stunning growth in U.S. sales of CD-ROM drives and disks. Arakawa knew that Sony had built a strong position in CD-ROM products. And he apparently feared that Sony would get the better of Nintendo in a collaboration.”
The gaming industry saw the birth of companies like nvidia, and now GPUs are tools.
It may be old news to a lot of people, but that blew my mind. I don't see how that is acceptable. I guess that hardware for these consoles is still a struggle.
Nintendo's the only one that's really gone a different direction; the Switch is ARM-based and built around the Nvidia Tegra X1 (same chipset as the Nvidia Shield). Software-wise, they're (reportedly) running a derivative of the OS from the Nintendo 3DS.
Unless the collection becomes so extensive you and it gain international renown, demand for collectables is all driven by arbitrary, subjective human passion.
Considering an original Apple I computer just sold for $375k at auction less than 2 years ago 
People actually used the Apple I computer, saw it, touched it, it existed in the mind of the general public and still does to this day to some extent.
This prototype is only valuable to perhaps the engineering team who worked on it, some extremely eccentric gaming enthusiasts, and perhaps a few others.
I would have taken the offer of $1.2M if I were him.
I imagine the bids in this auction will top out around $100k.
Plus retro gaming tends to pull higher prices than retro computing (generally speaking) and this piece of hardware is almost mythical in that it's the birth of the Play Station as well as a rare piece of hardware from the much loved SNES era (which also tends to command higher prices than it's 16bit Sega counterpart)
When I first saw this auction my first thought was "I bet that gets at least $1 million." - I think $3M is a little ambitious but I wouldn't say it's impossible.
This is my observations as a retro hardware collector. Ultimately something is only worth as much as someone else is willing to pay so it's sometimes hard to put a price on rarer items.
Value is not a function of rarity.
That's a lesson that took me many years and many thousands of dollars wasted at estate auctions to learn.
Palm pilots are pretty rare. And a lot of people liked and used palm pilots. But even brand new ones in their box are worth less than $1,000 at auction right now. 
You can only play Super Famicom games on this Nintendo Playstation. No games were ever created specifically for it.
This is purely a museum piece, not a collectible item that will gain in value over time.
Value is a function of supply and demand.
There are thousands of chinese porcelain pieces out there worth hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Some are worth millions. Because China is a wealthy nation now filled with hundreds of millions of people trying to recoup party of their culture that they sold to the lowest bidder of yesteryear.
100 years ago, a lot of these same vases that are now going for millions of dollars were literally being drilled through their bottoms and made into lamps for middle class American households.
They're not exclusively linked but it would be ignorant to deny a relationship.
> Palm pilots are pretty rare. And a lot of people liked and used palm pilots. But even brand new ones in their box are worth less than $1,000 at auction right now.
Again, retro computing hardware generally sells for less than retro gaming hardware. Also while boxed copies of specific brands Palm Pilots might be rare, there is a lot of PDAs still around and not a lot of people (compared to the retro gaming scene) collecting them. So prices are naturally going to be lower (market forces et al)
> You can only play Super Famicom games on this Nintendo Playstation. No games were ever created specifically for it.
I think you're missing the point of why some people collect. Sure, some of us like to buy stuff exclusively to play but there are a lot of people who like to buy simply to own.
You get people who collect full sets of PAL or NTSC games for a given console even knowing that they would never play most of those games. You get people who like to buy factory sealed games or hardware with no intention of opening. You get people who like to own variations of consoles (eg Pokemon, Animal Crossing, themed Nintendo Switches) even though they're all functionally the same and you can't actually play on more than one at a time. It's like stamp collecting for some people; it's not about the practical value but rather just the buzz of owning something uncommon or a collection. The more difficult or the higher the resale price could be, the greater the prestige.
Not everyone gets this mentality and to anyone on the outside it seems totally nuts and a complete waste of money. However regardless of your opinions, these people do exist and it's a big part of the retro gaming scene.
> This is purely a museum piece, not a collectible item that will gain in value over time.
Of course it will gain value over time. Inflation alone will see to that. However, like collecting anything from popular culture as a retirement nest egg: there is always the risk that the market could bottom out as people who grew up with those systems die off. That's what happened to the original gauge Hornby rail collectables (back when they had a dedicated 3rd rail for electricity). Trains used to be worth a few hundred each until recently when all the adults who collected that stuff started dying off. Now they're practically worthless.
The same might happen with retro gaming as well. Though as long as Nintendo and Sony are actively making consoles, I predict there will be interest in the Nintendo Play Station. So I can't see this particular piece losing value.
> Value is a function of supply and demand.
I'd already said that when I said things are only worth as much as someone is willing to pay. What you're ignoring is the real demand for people collecting retro gaming hardware.
> There are thousands of chinese porcelain pieces out there worth hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Some are worth millions. Because China is a wealthy nation now filled with hundreds of millions of people trying to recoup party of their culture that they sold to the lowest bidder of yesteryear.
> 100 years ago, a lot of these same vases that are now going for millions of dollars were literally being drilled through their bottoms and made into lamps for middle class American households.
That's true for a lot of collectables though. There's a period when old stuff gets sold off cheap because they're superseded by newer stock but not old enough to be "retro". Playstation 2 and 3 stuff is pretty cheap at the moment but in 10 years time those prices will start to climb. 5 years ago I could pick up Sega CIB Mega Drive / Genesis games (CIB meaning "complete in box" -- so with manual, game and box) for £5 to £15 (£15 being the expensive end). Now They're frequently a minimum of £15. Prices have literally doubled in 5 years. Same is try for the Dreamcast and Saturn too and in their cases prices climbing fast because those consoles had a limited life so there's some rarity attached.
Source: my dad (rest in peace) collected model railway. I collect retro gaming and retro computing hardware. So I'm rather familiar with the scene (in fact I knew about this auction from my buddies in the scene before it was posted on HN).
I think the console will go for over $100k, but I agree an offer of $1.2M was worth taking.
This is expected by many to be the highest valued item ever sold at auction in the game collecting community.
It's not easy to prove to a website that you have $250,000 USD in your bank account... and will continue to have that much 20 days from now.
>This is expected by many to be the highest valued item ever sold at auction in the game collecting community.
Just browse Twitter if you need sources for public opinion. Expectations are very high:
The repair done by Ben Heck:
The finally working video:
"he couldn’t get the drive to read" is completely false. It boots a game off a CD-ROM!
"Though the CD-ROM drive was not currently working when it was found in 2009, it has since been repaired by Benjamin Heckendorn, a YouTube personality known for his console repair videos."
Do you think the 'boxed up in a random lot, IDK what it is, some computer thing' behavior we've seen up to now with many rare electronics, games, computers, etc. will go away over time as more people grow up with internet access and web search?
Let's take something that is equally 'dead' in terms of not being made any more: the Samsung Taylor, a dev windows phone. A few devs got some, but otherwise it is gone to the wind. Just to look at it, it looks like a slate smartphone, pretty innocuous. But if you were to search its model number, you'd immediately know you had something rare and valuable to a certain niche (which I admit to being in).
Tens years ago when I last used it I was a bit surprised to find the set was worth about as much as "a new laptop." (Apparently people still use the Fluke for troubleshooting arcade machines.)
This week I was surprised again to discover the set is now worth about as much as "a new Mac laptop" (i.e. about twice). And many of the prices I was looking at were for non-working ones. Mine works.
So I think it's very easy to lay something aside with a vague idea it "might" be worth something without realizing it's worth the effort to find out exactly how much. You don't know what you don't know.
(I don't think I'd sell mine due to its sentimental value from who gave it to me and what I've used it for. Though I would probably sell it if it doubles again.)
For instance here's three old Agfa folding cameras:
One's barely worth anything, one's worth quite a bit, one's extremely rare. Would you know which is which just from looking?
It's over for rare cars. A friend lives in Southern Africa and used to buy gems cheaply when the person didn't know what they had and then ship them to Europe or the USA for a good profit. Now the owner can just google it and see immediately it's worth big bucks
Spinning up a mini computer in the basement was a good stupid nerd hobby a decade ago, but I can’t see the same happening with retired AWS or GCP servers, now or in a decade.
Business Wars -> Nintendo vs Sony series
Also if you think that looks like an USB port, check out the link cable for the original gameboy.
Funny enough while I was at SIE, I brought the console in and no one had seen it before. Sat on my desk and started a few conversations from people walking by checking it out.
That day he came back with about 10 playstations.
In 20, 30, 40 years the vast majority of people who cared about these machines will be dead. Those who still care will be such a minority that there won't be upward price pressure.
It's the same way you don't see people going nuts for Sperry and Burroughs gear today.
It's like finding a pair of shoes made by Adidas but branded Nike, or a can of Coca-Cola made by Pepsi. It's more than just an oddity.
IN NH arcade machines are now housed in a playable museum:
(Wondering how the gum that came in those packs held up.)
Classic video games are fun for nostalgia, but one of as the Broderbund software guys (Doug Carlston) says during an interview that he has old machines and the sometimes plays the old games:
"They not as great as they are in memory, in truth is our tastes change and become more sophisticated over time"
The rebooted Karateca for IOS and it didn't do well, and maybe he's rationalizing. Its kinda a fun listen, though not as good as others in the series:
That is most certainly true. Emulators have taken away a lot of the value, and the people who collect for actual nostalgia will eventually die.
How many people collect video arcade games vs the really old arcade novelties?
Edit: BTW - Marvins Marvelous Mechanical Museum
And the NVM having probably the largest one-of-a-kind prototype system collections on Earth, it'd have been the natural home for the Nintendo PlayStation. That they want no part speaks volumes, and I'm sure there's a lot there left unsaid in the public eye.
No idea who it'll go to now, but it's probably going to be someone with deep pockets or a collective (like another museum, perhaps) with a fairly wealthy network.
That gave me a good laugh :). This collaboration reminds me of the Panasonic Q. Nintendo's collaboration with Panasonic that was a hybrid version of the GameCube with a DVD player: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panasonic_Q
Are there any other videogame legends and artifacts like this and the Atari cartridge dump that could be lying around somewhere?
I'm glad emulation is a thing.