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Sony didn't "try" something underhanded. They actually succeeded in deceiving Nintendo with the SNES CD add-on contract. It's probably what ultimately led to the discontinuation of the CD add-on development and Nintendo defecting to Phillips.
Time hasn't been kind to Nintendo regarding the SNES Playstation deal that fell apart. It's easy to point to Nintendo and say they're at fault because they made a deal with Phillips "behind Sony's back." But I actually believe Sony was the "bad guy" in the entire deal - they had ulterior motives through the entire development process. They lied and deceived in contract negotiations and then took sensitive, expert industry knowledge from Nintendo to create a direct competing product with the partner they were just working with...
But hey, if you want to succeed in business, you have be shrewd. And the Playstation division took that all the way to the bank.