A pair of unreleased Sega Pluto prototypes have been discovered and detailed online.

The Sega hardware appears to be an updated form of the Saturn but with a built-in NetLink modem.

Only two units are known to exist. Photos of the first appeared earlier this week on the Assembler Games Forums (thanks, Polygon), taken by a poster who claimed to have worked at Sega "a good 14 years ago".

"Sega is a company with a history of turmoil," the poster wrote, explaining how he came by the device. "Employee turnover is a sad theme, and the Sonic Reaper (as we call him) strikes all too frequently. The past gets forgotten quickly - treasures from the previous generation are quickly cast aside, as a new regime tries to make a name for themselves (or justify their existence).

"As such, some of said treasures get left on laid-off-peoples' desks. And in a beautiful twist of fate, this beauty ended up finding its way to my desk, and then in a box with the rest of my stuff when I left Sega."

The device remained fully operational, although was region-locked to only play US NTSC games.

"The front features two controller ports, and on top you have a flip-top drive bay, a cart slot, a Power button, and the venerable Reset button. Note that the logo still says Saturn, so I'm guessing the Pluto codename was simply that, and they were thinking of branding it with the Saturn name.

"The bottom has nothing of note except for the 'PLUTO-02' sticker," he concluded. "Not sure of the whereabouts of the Pluto-1 - I'm guessing someone from the pre-Dreamcast days has it, though."

Step in Destructoid reader kidvid666, who realised after seeing the story that he owned the other.

In a YouTube video proving his claim and demoing the device, kidvid666 explained that he "bought it in a flea market for a $1" and would "probably put in eBay" in the next few days.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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