Buying a new console is a pretty big deal, and when it’s something that’s taking pride of place in your gaming battle station, you’re going to want it to look impressive. Thankfully, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have long since realized how much we all love our gaming hardware to feature that little something special. All three have released heaps of limited edition consoles in all kinds of colors and designs, ranging from the gaudy to the utterly gorgeous. Of the many in existence, these are our picks for the 15 best looking limited edition consoles of all time.
One Piece PS3
Here at Twinfinite, we love anime almost as much as gaming, so here’s a console to kick us off that combines both.
One Piece is one of the longest-running and beloved manga ever, and this gold console is the perfect ode to Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirate’s never-ending quest for treasure. Released alongside the PS3 exclusive One Piece: Pirate Warriors, there’s just one problem with this otherwise perfect console – it was never released outside of Japan. Limited edition One Piece consoles released for the PSP and PS4 only serve to run salt it the wound.
Sadly, it was once again judged that there just wasn’t a global appetite for them, and fans the world over have been forced to view this stunning console from afar; or at best, drop some serious change on an import.
Star Wars Kinect Xbox 360
What better way to show off your love for Star Wars than having a console resembling everyone’s favorite robotic duo?
This console bears detailing of R2D2 while the gold controller takes the form of C3P0’s shiny metallic plating, with loose wires hanging out of the bottom to complete the look. When powering on and hitting the eject button, the console comes to life with R2D2 sound effects. It’s the next best thing to having your very own droid sat in your living room.
Oh, and to top it off, when you open the disc tray you’ll find one of the most iconic lines from Star Wars inscribed into it: “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Nice little touch. Now, if only it came bundled with a better game than the utterly dire Star Wars Kinect.
Pikachu Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64 was around when Pokemon was at its very peak. Nothing could stop Pikachu and their 150 pocket monster pals, so it made sense that Nintendo would release a limited edition console celebrating the launch of Hey You, Pikachu.
With a standout blue and yellow color scheme, a Pokeball for the power button, and a Pikachu with light-up cheeks sitting on the top, the console was an absolute must-have for fans back in the day. Retro console collectors will have a tough time tracking down one of these consoles now though, as prices have skyrocketed. Hey You, Pikachu may have been a forgettable dud, but this limited edition console will go down in history as one of the all-time greats.
Gears of War 3 Xbox 360
You won’t want to take a chainsaw to this gorgeous piece of hardware.
The Gears of War 3 limited edition Xbox 360 offered players an opportunity to upgrade to a larger 320GB hard drive, get an extra controller (both of which had the much-improved transforming D-pad), and have it all designed with a grizzly Gears of War logo design.
The console, like all of the limited edition Xbox 360 slim consoles, also had unique sounds when powering on the console and opening the disc tray. It was a nice little way to make each individual console that bit more special than the standard machines, and this one exemplifies how much it can build on the overall experience.
Star Wars Battlefront PS4
This Star Wars PS4 was pretty divisive with fans when it was released in 2015 along with the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront. However, we feel it’s a pretty fitting tribute to one of the galaxies most notorious villains.
Vader isn’t just chilling on a normal black background either. The entire top side of the console is embossed with the “Star Wars” logo. It’s a simple, yet elegant way of utilizing his iconic visage and the larger brand to great effect.
Also, it would be a sin to not mention the controller here. The DualShock 4 features the same repeated “Star Wars” design on the touchpad, and has a color scheme that takes inspiration from the Sith lord’s iconic suit. If you’re not a fan of the console but like the controller, you can still pick one up separately if you’re lucky.
Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One X
This is definitely a case of going all out to make a console that stands apart from the standard edition.
Arriving just a few short months before the Xbox Series X|S launched, this Cyberpunk 2077-themed console was the final limited edition Xbox One X to be released. In fact, this console was actually released several months before the much-delayed game so it didn’t coincide with the launch of Microsoft’s next-gen console.
A patchwork of scuffed metals makes the console look as though it could be a prop in the game itself, and really sells the grimy yet futuristic appeal of the series. What better way to immerse yourself in CD Projekt Red’s imagined future than to bring a little piece of it into the real world with you?
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain PS4
This Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain limited edition PlayStation 4 is nothing short of beautiful.
Repping the same red and gold color scheme as Snake’s bionic arm in the game, you definitely won’t want to be hiding this console under a cardboard box.
Then, there’s the controller. Made to resemble Snake’s handgun, it was given a glossy gunmetal grey finish. To tie it in with the console, he directional arrows on the D-pad deliver a little splash of red. Both the console and the controller also feature the unit emblem of Diamond Dogs.
It remains one of the more striking Special Edition consoles out there, and while itdoesn’t exactly scream “Stealth’, it does at least show your friends and family where your gaming allegiances lie.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS
The 3DS was host to a bevy of great Zelda games. It’s no wonder then, that there were a few outstanding limited edition Legend of Zelda 3DS console designs. A 3DS XL celebrated the release of A Link Between Worlds, and a New 3DS XL launched alongside Majora’s Mask 3D.
Then, there’s this beauty right here. More subtle than the others mentioned above, the Ocarina of Time 3DS was a great way to display your Zelda fandom. A Tri-Force sits in the middle and a classic Legend of Zelda border decorates the edges. A perfectly understated handheld for on-the-go gaming.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD limited edition Wii U. Its beautiful gamepad seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from this 3DS design, and gives credence to how iconic this general look was and remains to this day.
Destiny: The Taken King PS4
2015 was a big year for limited edition PS4s, and this Destiny: The Taken King console was a standout.
The original Destiny featured in a bundle with a glacier white PS4 — the first variation in the console’s design. The release of The Taken King expansion led to a reimagining of the white console, and it didn’t disappoint. The faceplate was covered in a galaxy map and topped off with the Guardian emblem and Destiny logo in gold, all of which came together a fittingly celestial aesthetic.
While the console may only be the 500GB model, it’s nothing short of being a piece of minimalist art. That alone should make it a more than worthy part of any limited-edition console collection. It’s only real flaw is that there are no matching details to make the controller that little more special.
Halo 4 Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 slim stands alongside the PS4 as one of the consoles that has released the most limited editions, and this one in particular was hard to forget.
To celebrate the 2012 release of Halo 4, Microsoft released this transparent-cased beauty. For the first time, Xbox fans could take a look at the console’s inner machinery. It came complete with a 320GB HDD, Halo sounds, and blue LEDs on both the console and its two controllers.
It’s safe to say this is one of the nicest Xbox 360 limited edition consoles, and having it was a dream come true for Halo fans of the time. If you’re a Halo diehard and an avid collector of limited edition consoles, you can probably still find some of these for a reasonable price on the likes of eBay or Amazon.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 PS5
The limited edition PS4 console released as a tie-in with the first Marvel’s Spider-Man game was a sleek but simple design that featured the spider logo on a red console. This PS5 console takes that design and infects it with the Venom symbiote, replicating what happens to everyone’s favorite web-slinger in the sequel. Even the DualShock controller isn’t safe from its influence, with the iconic red coloring slowly being overtaken by a crawling mat black.
The great thing about the PS5 is that it has removable faceplates. Because of that, Sony has made the Spider-Man 2 console faceplates available to purchase separately alongside the controller. Not having to trade your existing console in for a new design is surely the future of customized consoles, and Xbox have followed suit with their Series X console wraps.
Classic NES GBA SP
The first of two consoles celebrating their heritage, Nintendo’s Classic NES Game Boy Advance SP is truly a marvel of limited edition console design.
Released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nintendo’s first home console, this Game Boy Advance SP featured retro NES theming. Capturing the essence of the blocky console and reducing it down to handheld form couldn’t have been easy, but Nintendo totally nailed it with its implementation of the NES’s color and design iconography.
Of course, retro gaming fans will be well aware that the original Famicom console released in Japan looked vastly different from the NES released in Europe and America. Because of this, an alternative red and gold design was released in Japan that is just as iconic. A series of NES Classic games were ported to the handheld alongside the console too, putting a nice finishing touch on what this limited edition console offered and represented.
20th Anniversary PS4
One of, if not THE, rarest console on our list, the 20th Anniversary PS4 is a sight to see.
Revealed as part of Sony’s celebration of its first console, this 20th anniversary PlayStation 4 oozes class. The limited edition PS4 dragged the iconic grey color and multi-colored PlayStation logo into the new millennium, and it pops against the solid grey tone wonderfully. Embossed PlayStation button icons decorate the bottom half of the console too, giving it a real premium feel.
Each console’s production number in the run was identifiable by a plaque located in the bottom right of the console. Bundled with the console were matching DualShock 4 controller and camera peripherals.
It’s truly a perfect package for PS diehards, but if you were thinking of getting your hands on one of these, you’re probably way out of luck. Sony produced a mere 12,300 of these beauties, and they’ve long since found owners willing to shell out large amounts for them.
Halo Infinite Xbox Series X
Another console that coincided with a 20th anniversary, this dressed up monolith is one heck of a beauty.
The Halo-themed Xbox Series X also arrived at the same time as Halo Infinite. With a bottom half decorated in metallic paneling like you’d find on Master Chief’s iconic Spartan armor and a top half speckled with stars, this is truly a console of two halves. The vent on top of the console is also blue in honor of the Chief’s companion Cortana, providing the hardware with an aesthetically pleasing look that’s dripping with references.
Included in the bundle was a matching grey controller, but true Halo fans would want to seek out the alternative green 117-themed Elite controller.
Microsoft’s now embracing customizing your existing console with their Xbox wraps, so it’s possible this could be the first and only limited edition Series X console ever to be released. A sad state of affairs, but at least this one makes for a great last Limited Edition Series X.
Tales of Xilia PS3
Yet another Japanese exclusive console rounds out our list.
This Tales of Xillia PlayStation 3 is nothing short of beautiful. The gold and red design on the traditional PS3 black is a great way to show your love for the ‘Tales of‘ series, and it’s also one of the few limited edition PS3s to ever hit the market. The console had a 160GB HDD for storing your files and a controller, but sadly this lacked any design flourishes.
Unfortunately, these seem to be near impossible to find now; probably due to their limited territorial release. We can only hope we’ll see more JRPG console designs as the genre continues to build a global fanbase.
About the author
James is a freelance writer for Twinfinite, typically covering new releases and live service titles. He has been writing about MMOs since 2015, and has published a book about Star Wars Galaxies.