Hardware makers have a long history of releasing limited edition game consoles, particularly in celebration of major game releases. These appeal to collectors, but also to anyone who’s interested in planting a cool-looking piece of hardware in their entertainment stand. Here are our picks for the five coolest limited edition video game consoles ever released.
1. 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4
Anyone who has fond memories of gaming on Sony’s first console can’t help but fall in love with this gorgeous homage to its hardware. Not only is it the same milky gray color, but the controller is also styled the same, and it even has the original colorful PlayStation logo on it.
Unfortunately for collectors, Sony only produced 12,300 of them and had fans race to the “buy” button all at the same time in order to snag one. That move left many fans empty-handed and disappointed, but then again, they call it “limited edition” for a reason.
2. Xbox 360 Kinect Star Wars Bundle
If anyone on the planet doesn’t adore R2-D2, I sure haven’t met them. So why not put the little guy under your TV? This special edition Xbox 360 is designed to look like Luke Skywalker’s robotic friend, with white and blue panels adorning it on all sides.
The controller that comes with it takes its design cues from C3P0, the shiny gold beanpole who usually spends more time worrying and calculating dismal odds than helping. It’s a great-looking combination, even if Kinect Star Wars, the game that accompanied this limited edition 360, wasn’t any good.
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Nintendo 3DS
Most standard Nintendo 3DS units look more or less like toys, with their bold colors and soft edges. Not this limited edition version that came out alongside The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. It’s designed with a tasteful black and gold color scheme, with both the top and bottom sporting a subtle Triforce design.
And when you open it up, the whole thing is gold on the inside, with eye-catching black buttons, D-pad, and analog stick. If you want a more adult take on the 3DS hardware, this is the model to get.
4. Pikachu Nintendo 64
This limited edition console might look like a toy, but that’s pretty much the point when it comes to celebrating the Pokémon video game series which, even though it appeals to adults as well, is primarily for kids. Also, it’s not like the standard Nintendo 64 sported a sophisticated design, thanks to its curvy plastic casing and enormous, colorful controller.
But this limited edition console is particularly cool because it has a bright yellow Pikachu literally popping out of it. Also, the power button has been styled to look like a Pokéball, and the controller is emblazoned with the Pokémon logo. The console isn’t exactly subtle in its branding, but that’s exactly what makes it so cool.
5. Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater Nintendo 3DS
The subtitle of this game is Snake Eater, so it only makes sense that a Nintendo 3DS designed to go along with the game would look like it’s made of snake skin. The material is hard black plastic, but the grooves in the body make it look and feel scaly, just like the poor creatures the game’s main character ends up eating to bolster his stamina.
If you think it looks cool enough to buy, however, you might want to tamp down your expectations. It was only made available for sale on the Japanese Konami Style website, where in 2012 hopeful fans had to enter a raffle to win a chance to buy it. Everyone else is either out of luck or has to pay big bucks for it on the secondary market.