American auction house, Heritage Auctions, has revealed they plan to auction off an extremely rare prototype SEGA console. Internally known to SEGA as Project Pluto, the console was to be released exclusively in the United States as a cost-effective alternative to competing hardware.
Had it seen an official release, Project Pluto would have been the first console to support a NetLink Internet Modem and an internal hard drive. It’s unknown how far in development Project Pluto came along before it was ultimately cancelled.
There are currently two known consoles in existence, referred only by their apparent model numbers (Pluto-01 and Pluto-02). In the company’s announcement, they plan to auction off Pluto-02, which belonged to the SEGA of America employee who revealed the existence of the prototype on the Assembler Games forums (now archived).
The SEGA Pluto owners have had a tumultuous time trying to sell the consoles in the past. The owner of Pluto-02 tried selling the prototype back in 2015 on eBay for a whopping $10,000. The catch? It’s wasn’t even operational! Our own editor-in-chief Chris Powell had a chance to sit down with Robert Vega back in 2013 on his troubles in loading off the relic. Vega has since linked up with Ben Heck in getting the console repaired and planned on touring the US at different game shows before selling it off.
The SEGA Pluto, if operational, could prove to be a formidable collector’s item. The auction is expected to take place at Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction July 9-12 in Dallas, Texas.