Gold consoles that were never released and platforms created to promote games are some of the rarest video games in history. From official creations, such as the Xbox One X/S models of the games Cuphead and Shadow of The Tomb Raider, to third-party productions, such as the gold and diamond Nintendo Wii, the variety of these products is vast. Check out the following list of the top 10 rarest consoles of all time.
1. PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition
Released in December 2014, the special PlayStation 4 (PS4) to mark the 20th anniversary of the PlayStation, with colors in the theme of Sony’s pioneering console, is one of the rarest. There were only 20,000 units produced at the time, and only 12,000 of them went on sale worldwide. Because of this, each one is numbered. Despite its distinctive design, the game worked like a normal PS4.
Due to its appearance and rarity, this PS4 quickly became a collector’s item. Many of the gamers who were lucky enough to obtain a unit chose to leave the console in storage, as a sort of relic or decoration item. Some other fans have taken advantage of the high demand for the special video game to resell it for exorbitant amounts of money.
2. Dreamcast Seaman
The Dreamcast Seaman was a special version of Sega’s latest console to accompany the release of Seaman, a bizarre simulation game that attempted to adapt the success of Tamagotchis to video games. Released only in Japan, the model hit the market at Christmas 1999. It was finished in a striking shade of red, quite different from the grayscale in which the traditional model was produced.
The Seaman game would eventually become one of the weirdest in history, but its Dreamcast special edition became very successful. All 850 units produced were sold, and the item became a rare and highly coveted item for collectors and fans of Sega products.
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Cuphead inspired the creation of four Xbox One S-themed units. They were awarded as prizes during the game’s launch event in 2017. In addition to the console with a design that is reminiscent of the game’s art direction, there was also exclusive promotional material, with special inserts and a vinyl record with the original soundtrack of the title.
As only four units of the game were produced, finding the special edition for purchase is a difficult task and depends a lot on the interest of the lucky ones who took the console home. So far, there are no reports of any of the winners giving up theirs.
4. Nintendo DSi Pokémon World Championship 2009
Nintendo often prepares very exclusive editions of its products for special events. This was the case with the Pokémon World Championship 2009: that year, some of the winning players took home a customized Nintendo DSi. The piece is rare and attracts the interest of collectors. For this reason, it always ends up appearing in some Internet auction.
Also, another factor contributing to the rarity of the Pokémon DSi WC2009 is that the Nintendo DSi itself was a short-lived handheld console on the market. Launched in November 2008 as the third generation of the DS platform, it took a back seat as early as March 2010 when the Nintendo DSi XL appeared.
5. PlayStation 10 Million
To celebrate the mark of ten million PlayStations sold worldwide, Sony has created a special edition with dark blue colors, which is even rarer than the PlayStation Net Yaroze. It is estimated that only 100 units were produced. The console was never sold, as the video games produced were given away by Sony as prizes in promotions.
The low number of units available and the nostalgia surrounding the PS1 explains why the model generates very popular auctions. On sites such as eBay, the most recent sales of the special console have surpassed the $7,500 mark.
6. Dreamcast Maziora
Available exclusively for the Japanese market, the Dreamcast Maziora was released in August 1999. Only 500 units of the model were produced. It was made in partnership with an automotive paint manufacturer and came with a pearlescent finish. Because of this, it would change color depending on the light or the angle it was looked at.
Offered together with a copy of Lara Croft’s latest adventure, the Xbox Special made a lot of money in the end. The final bid took the console for $8,300.
7. Xbox One X Shadow of The Tomb Raider
This is one of the rarest on the list: only a single unit was produced. Its features are reminiscent of the game Shadow of The Tomb Raider – and for a long time, it was rumored that, due to its rarity, it was a fan creation. The custom console, however, is an official Microsoft product, made in conjunction with developer Square Enix. It was created to be unique, as its purpose was to be auctioned off at the game’s release to raise funds for an American NGO.
Offered along with a copy of Lara Croft’s latest adventure, the special Xbox made a lot of money in the end. Its final bid took the console for $8,300.
8. 24K Gold PlayStation 3
In 2009, the PlayStation 3 (PS3) got a 24 karat gold-plated version, which cost, at the time, $5,000. Only five units were produced and sold to wealthy fans. In addition to the console itself, the buyers took home a DualShock 3 also coated in gold of the same purity.
Besides the gold plating, the PS3 had an option for those who wanted to go further: it was possible to order the engraving of diamonds on the “PS3” logo. The interesting thing about this ostentatious PS3 is that this modification model would eventually become recurrent in future consoles, even reaching the current generation console, PlayStation 5 (PS5).
9. Atari Cosmos
The Cosmos was a product almost released by Atari. A total of 250 units were manufactured, with marketing campaigns on the street and even boxes and manuals ready to hit the stores and consumers. The reasons for its cancellation are not very clear, but it is believed that Atari executives concluded that Cosmos would fall short of the promise of full 3D graphics quality.
What makes the Cosmos an extremely rare console is the fact that, almost 30 years after the project’s demise, a complete and functional unit, including boxes and manuals, ended up on eBay. The auction, held in 2019, was very crowded by collectors, raising around $18,853.
10. Nintendo Wii Supreme
The Wii Supreme is not the first gold console on the list, but it surpasses the PS3 described earlier in the extravagance department. Created by artist Stuart Hughes, it is encased in 2.5 kilos of 22-karat gold, finished with 78 diamonds on the front buttons.
According to the official website of the artist who produced it, only three units were created. On the page detailing the creation, there are details about the use of pure gold and diamonds, and the price, which is listed as 299,995 pounds, although the product is no longer available today.
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