10 Most Expensive Video Game Consoles
Video game consoles have been around since the 1970s. And as decades passed, consoles have continually evolved not just in terms of power and technology but also in prices as well. The first-ever console, the Odyssey, only cost $99. Compared to the newest consoles today, prices for the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S can go as high as $500. And this doesn’t even include the Windows PC which can be a console if the player decides to turn it into a high-end gaming device. Consoles are indeed costly, but there have been times that prices have gone up further especially for special edition units. Here are the eight most expensive video game consoles ever released:
1. Playstation 4 20th Anniversary Edition - $1,200
Sony released a 20th anniversary edition of the Playstation 4 back in 2014 to celebrate the launch of the very first Playstation in 1994. The console’s design features the PS1’s grey color scheme and the circle-cross-square-triangle symbols which originated in the first Playstation. Additionally, the console also includes the original boot sound effects of the PS1. The Playstation was released in Japan in December 1994 but didn’t arrive in the United States until September 1995.
Only 12,300 units of the 20th Anniversary PS4 were up for grabs through Sony’s online store with each console selling at $499. Naturally, it sold out immediately which left buyers scrambling in resale markets. The average resale price set buyers back to around $1,200.
2. Beatles Rock Band Xbox 360 - $3,600
In 2009, Microsoft presented a gift for Beatles fans as they released a limited edition Beatles Rock Band Xbox 360. The console came with a hand-painted design as well as the ‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ game. One was sold at auction to raise money for Doctors Without Borders and a few others were given away as prizes at an Xbox Live competition.
The game is as impressive as the console itself. It includes a Hofner bass controller, Beatles branded instruments, and 40 Beatles hits with additional DLC to be downloaded at Xbox Live. It is also the first music game that allows players to harmonize with the songs to recreate the quartet’s vocal blend. With an iconic band such as The Beatles, it’s not surprising that they got their own feature in the highly popular video game. Despite last conquering the music scene in the 1970s, the band still holds numerous records, including the most number one albums (19) and number one hit singles (20) in the U.S. charts. They are also winners of 21 Grammys and listed as the best-selling artist of all time.
3. Maziora Dreamcast - $6,000
Japanese motor company Maziora partnered with Sega to release a limited edition Dreamcast in 1999. The Maziora Dreamcast is painted with pearlescent coating and changes colors depending on the angle it is viewed at. Only 500 of these consoles were ever released with 200 being signed by Taira Racing driver Tadahiko Taira. The consoles also came with a motorbike helmet key chain, a “dream passport” and a dream cast sticker. Players were only able to get the units via preorder or by winning a racing event.
Despite being a classic console, the Sega Dreamcast was a financial failure and was discontinued only three after years after being released in 1998. With its competitors at the time (Sony Playstation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, and the Microsoft Xbox) all willing to engage in a price war, Sega couldn’t keep up and was seeing heavy losses for its units. The Dreamcast only went to sell 9 million units, a significant difference from other consoles which were selling upward of 100 million units. Nonetheless, Sega has left a lasting mark in the gaming industry and has even managed to rebuild itself as a video game developer, introducing popular titles such as’ Sonic The Hedgehog’, ‘Shenmue’, ‘Phantasy Star’, and ‘Crazy Taxi’, among others.
4. Pokemon World Championships Nintendo DSi XL - $7,000
Released in commemoration of the 2010 Pokemon World Championships, this Nintendo DSi XL comes with a bright yellow design and Pokemon decals on the front. The official Pokemon World Championships logo is also embossed at the console’s right-hand corner. This console was never sold in retail and was only given to winning players in the 2010 world championships. One console managed to make its way online, selling for $7,000.
Since the original DS was released in 2004, the console underwent numerous design and hardware changes which eventually culminated with the New 3DS XL in early 2015. With what started as a bulky handheld reminiscent of the Game Boy Advance, the DS turned into a more compact and advanced device in the form of the 2DS/3DS XL models. Fans also loved the flip design which debut with the 3DS in 2011. Overall, the DS models have sold over 154 million units and is only second behind the Sony Playstation 2 in overall revenue.
5. The 10 Million Model PS1 - $7,500
Sony released the 10 Million Model Playstation 1 to celebrate the company selling over 10 million units of the popular console. This console comes with a dark blue design which contrasts heavily with the original grey PS1. Considered as one of the rarest video game consoles around, only a handful of the 10 Million PS1 hit game store shelves, resulting in a resale price that go as high as $7,500. The limited edition console may have only celebrated a small milestone for Sony as the Playstation 1 eventually went to sell 102 million units.
Sony’s very first entry into the console market essentially marked the start of the video gaming revolution in the 1990s. Despite entering a console market consisting of mainstays Nintendo (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and Sega (Genesis & Saturn), Sony still managed to take a heavy chunk of Nintendo and Sega’s market share. The three-way battle would result in the “console wars” which would last until today minus Sega which stopped developing consoles after the Dreamcast.
6. Lara Croft Gem-Studded Xbox 360 - $11,000
Reported to be an official Microsoft release as it was listed on the Xbox Germany website, this Xbox 360 is covered with more than 43,000 crystals which resemble the design of the Tomb Raider: Legend game cover. The game was released for the Xbox 360 as well as the Playstation 3 and Microsoft Windows in 2006. Although there haven’t been reports of this gem-studded console being purchased, it was still valued at $11,000 with the expensive valuation mostly coming from the sparkling crystals.
Hardcore fans of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise may not mind burning a hole in their wallets just to purchase this special edition Lara Croft Xbox 360. After all, Tomb Raider is one of the most popular game franchises of all time with a history that spans two decades, 20 games, and 80 million copies sold. With the franchise celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021, rumors have been swirling for a new Tomb Raider game to be released within the year.
7. Rose Gold PS4 & Xbox One - $13,700
Solid gold electronics have existed for the longest time so it’s not surprising that the PS4 and the Xbox One eventually got the solid gold treatment. In 2014, Italian jeweler Gatti Luxury Lab released a rose gold PS4 and Xbox One that contains over 220 grams of nine carat gold. The PS4 carries six more grams than the Xbox console. The consoles were initially only sold in the United Arab Emirates through electronics retailer Jumbo Electronics, selling for 49,999 United Arab Emirates Dirham or US$13,700. Valuation for these luxurious consoles has only increased in recent years.
Other jewelers that have been known to make gold and diamond-infused electronics are Stuart Hughes and Brikk. London-based Stuart Hughes made headlines by selling an iPhone 4 embezzled with 500 individuals diamonds costing an astronomical $8 million. The Diamond Rose iPhone 4 was tagged as the ‘world’s most expensive smartphone’ and still holds the title up to this day. Los Angeles-based Brikk on the other hand introduced a gold PS4 DualShock controller coated with 24K gold and protected by three layers of DLC protective clear veneer. One variation of the gold controller dubbed the ‘Lux DualShock 4 Classic’ costs $8,500 and is made of 18K gold and seven diamonds that are attached to the PS button.
8. Atari Cosmos - $18,800
The massively hyped Atari Cosmos was one of the consoles that was supposed to introduce holographic gaming to the world. But before it was slated to be released in 1981, Atari pulled the plug for unknown reasons and never released the console. Around 250 units were said to be manufactured, with one making its way to eBay for $18,800.
Between 1978 and 1981, Atari was building a tabletop game system that combined 3D Holoptic images, LED gameplay, and innovative sound effects. Eight game cartridges were also slated to be released including Asteroids and Space Invaders. Before the release, critics had blasted the system’s hologram features stating that it didn’t enhance the overall gameplay and only acted as visual eye-candy. Atari responded to critics with regard to the hologram issues but it would be the last time that the company made mention of the console. Today, Atari has transitioned as a mobile game company that has developed some fan-favorite games including Atari Combat: Tank Fury, RollerCoaster Tycoon, and Beat Legend: Avicii.
9. Gold Legend of Zelda Game Boy Advance SP - $20,000
One of the most expensive game consoles comes in the form of the gold-plated Legend of Zelda Game Boy Advance SP. Nintendo released the limited-edition GBA SP in commemoration of ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap’ game that hit stores in 2004. Only 25,000 units were said to be produced of the GBA console coated in 24K gold. Additionally, getting a golden ticket from a random ‘Minish Cap’ game or regular GBA SP was the only way for players to grab hold of the golden console. Today, the super rare console is valued at more than $20,000.
Before the Switch and the DS, Nintendo had already dominated the handheld gaming market with the Game Boy. In fact, it was Nintendo that popularized the handheld console concept after the original Game Boy which was released in 1989 went on to sell 118 million units. Its successor the Game Boy Advance also fared remarkably considering that it sold 81 million units throughout its entire lifespan.
10. Nintendo Wii Supreme - $433,000
Speaking of Stuart Hughes, it isn’t only known for making an $8 million iPhone. It also holds the recognition of producing the most expensive video game console in existence: the $433,000 gold and diamond studded Nintendo Wii Supreme. Boasting 2,500 grams of solid 22K gold, the Nintendo Wii Supreme is expensive at it is luxurious. Although the luxury brand is no longer selling the console, the item is still listed on its website mainly to inform people that they were responsible for making the world’s expensive gaming console at one point in time.
It’s not surprising that the Nintendo Wii also got a luxurious treatment to begin with. Although many deemed it to be a failure because it didn’t function like its Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 counterparts, it was far to the contrary. The Wii console outsold the PS3 and the Xbox 360 by several million units, becoming the winner of that console generation in terms of hardware sales. Wii exclusives such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3, and Super Mario Galaxy are also considered to be some of the greatest games released not just for the Wii but for every gaming console that came in existence.
Even with regular consoles already listed as an expensive buy for most people, there have been numerous instances where prices have shot up even further. The world won’t see the last of limited edition consoles, especially with the Playstation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X/S dominating the field in the next five years. By then, don’t be surprised if there’s news of a $1 million console hitting game stores in the foreseeable future.