9

I asked a question recently about the Nintendo PlayStation, a prototype for the unreleased SNES-CD periphreal. There was some question as to whether or not a question about a canceled console (or game for that matter) was on topic for the site.

The closest precedent I see is Are questions about unreleased consoles on topic?, but that is more about consoles that are going to be released in the future (e.g. asking about the next PlayStation console and its games before the official release date). The consensus was to close such questions because they are speculative until public release.

However, that rationale doesn't seem to apply for the Nintendo PlayStation here because, although it was canceled, the only known prototype is available to the public in that its existence and capabilities have been extensively documented. Moreover, the physical prototype is currently being toured at conventions. I could see a similar situation with games; perhaps a game was canceled but years later the developer released the source code or it was leaked.

Are questions about canceled games and consoles allowed if they are now accessible to the public?

11

There's two parts to the argument against allowing questions on unreleased consoles:

  1. The 'speculative' part stems from the fact that the consoles are actively being worked on:

    • Features are being added/removed,
    • The specs & parts aren't locked down or finalised,
    • The release date isn't set in stone
    • Any announcement or 'leak' can only be taken at face value, and is subject to change
  2. The other part is the 'developer-only' knowledge part. Unreleased consoles are generally kept as secret as possible:

    • Company employees sign NDAs
    • The development process is kept under wraps
    • What little information presented to the public is generally under a 'marketing' spin, we don't get details about the system's (un)readiness for general use

Problem 1 doesn't really exist with the oddity of a device that is the Nintendo Playstation. It's prototype hardware that is not getting worked on any more. It exists 'As is', whatever information that exists about it is static and not going to change.

Problem 2 still exists... kinda. We don't really have much in the way of "official" information about the device. However, we do have a lot of third-party information that's coming out about it: specifically from hardware experts that have performed teardowns and repairs on the device. This is solid information and can be confirmed without needing privileged information or input from Sony or Nintendo-official sources.

So where does that leave us? Here's my take: so long as questions about it aren't regarding 'official' developer info, it should be fine. This means that:

  • Asking about the specifications of the device should be fine
  • Asking about supported games (if there is any - I assume it can run SNES/Famicom games?) should be fine)
    • Upon a little research it seems there's already some homebrew in the works built specifically to run on it - it could be forseeable in the future that questions about the games built for it would be on-topic for us.
  • Asking whether the device is 'official' or not, only Sony or Nintendo can "know" that, and would be off-topic for us.

Your question scrapes the line of asking about 'official' confirmation. The thing is, the Nintendo Playstation hasn't really been confirmed to be 'authentic' per se. The hardware exists, there's no doubt about that, but it's not really in Arqade's expertise to determine whether the device is 'authentic', even if us Arqadians had access to the physical hardware we would only be able to confirm what is already known about the device itself - only Sony or Nintendo can really "know" whether it's authentic or not.

I feel if you rephrased your question to focus on what is known about the hardware itself, it could be on-topic. But we can't really help to determine whether or not the device is authentic or 'an elaborate hoax', so in it's current state it's off-topic.

6

Defining "public" is a little tough. Especially with things like this. Same goes for "unreleased".

If a game or console is "unreleased", it means it remains unavailable to the public. The company has not put out any version that a public person has access to. It is therefore off topic.

Public access for here means access to the item from our user base (or at least one segment/country). As such, a prototype in the hands of journalists is not public, so it is off topic. We cannot assume the single journalist with the prototype to be in our user base (or as a segment), and therefore it is not considered available to us.

However, your question is a bit weird. You skirt the line of acceptable by asking not about the console, but about the journalism. You ask how it was proved to be authentic. Which, regardless of whether or not it is a gaming console, the same question can be asked of any piece of journalism of this nature (or really any nature). You ask if proof has been provided.

I'd say your question, while fascinating and something I want to know the answer to is off topic. But not because it is not publicly available. Nor because the company never released the console. But because it goes up against "journalistic intent" (a butchering of the meaning of developer intent). We don't know because we are not the journalist. The journalist is the only one who can provide the answer you seek (offering validity) and we cannot verify their authenticity independently (by it being available for our own examination).

That said, if a game, for example, is unreleased, but becomes publicly available to all via other means (open sourcing, "unofficial" leaking, etc.), then it is considered released and on topic.

-3

The same reasoning applies to old consoles as new ones: Unless they are (or were) publically available to play, they are off-topic. There's often extensive documentation available for future consoles as well; we don't allow them because it still invites speculation, and things may change prior to release. For a never released console, all there is is documenatation. There's no way for us to verify the authenticity or accuracy of the information.

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