Earlier today, a pair of PlayStation 5 development kits appeared on eBay before being taken off the auction site in a matter of hours.
The items — a DFI-D1
Although the test kit appears to be almost identical to PlayStation 5 models (well, except for the large TEST stamp on the back, of course), photos of the dev kit highlight the unique V-shaped construction used in pre-release patents . That thing is an animal, and even manages to look like a car engine when placed vertically. Two all-black DualSense controllers were also photographed for the short-lived eBay listing, which contrasted the more prominent two-tone color schemes of the peripheral’s current design.
eBay is usually full of auctions for retro dev sets and even illegal reproduction cartridges, or games that have been produced by a third party without permission from the original publishers for use in consoles and handhelds. With that in mind, it is not clear which rule, if any, this auction broke. It is also possible that eBay simply collaborated with a request from Sony, which obviously does not want these things out in the wild so soon after the PlayStation 5 was released, to remove the listing.
Kotaku contacted eBay for more information about the current auction and why it was removed but not heard back before publication.
Manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft send game development kits to studios for use in, you guessed it, and develop games. These machines are less controlled than detail consoles, with greater processing power and more open operating systems to facilitate all the technological wizard needed to make games ready for sale. Test kits, on the other hand, are more in line with what you and I can get, so that studios can ensure that their games work well enough for mass consumption.
Read more: Guy buys PS4 Dev Kit full of data from Closed Studio
However, some random people who get their hands on these PlayStation 5 sets do not guarantee that they will be able to use them for any awful schemes. When a Reddit user bought a similar PlayStation 4 console during an auction in 2016 now Sleeping dogs Developer United Front Games, built-in security measures prevented them from accessing the console’s 800 GB of data. The Dang thing could not even play PlayStation 4 games in retail. There’s a reason the consoles that appeared on eBay earlier today would have the same obstacles.
Regardless, it’s hard to argue against the cool factor of one of these sets flowing out of the game development world. And that’s not to mention the obvious benefits of archiving video game history. Manufacturers do not send these machines out to anyone, and it often takes years before they reach collectors. It is my (perhaps naive) opinion that the more people learn about how games are made, the more they will appreciate the enormous amount of work it takes to get them out the door.