Video Games Issue 2021

25 extremely rare game consoles and accessories

The most exotic gaming hardware in existence.

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NES, PlayStation, Xbox — some video game consoles are so popular that even people who’ve never played one can recognize them on sight.

On the other hand, every console maker has also explored some untested and frankly bizarre ideas that end up in obscurity — or they never get released at all.

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Here are 25 of the rarest game consoles and accessories ever made

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The Video Games Issue 2021 is an Inverse celebration of retro favorites, forgotten gems, and the latest and greatest in interactive entertainment.

25. PlayStation 10 Million Edition

Made to celebrate the PlayStation’s 10-millionth sale, this console is a perfectly normal PlayStation aside from its dark blue color. Its rarity has made it a coveted collector’s item nonetheless.

Photo Credit: Console Variations

24. Nintendo R.O.B.

R.O.B. is an iconic part of Nintendo’s history, especially after it made its way into Super Smash Bros. Brawl. R.O.B. fulfilled its mission of getting kids excited for the NES by substituting as a second player, but was quickly abandoned by Nintendo.

Evan-Amos

23. PlayStation 4 Pro 500 Million Edition

This limited edition PS4 Pro bundle was released to mark 500 million PlayStation sales. Aside from its cool translucent blue color, it’s mostly remarkable for its rarity.

Photo Credit: Sony

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22. Sony PSX

This chunky box packs a PlayStation 2 and a DVR as part of Sony’s push to make its console a total home entertainment system. Sony cancelled its release outside Japan due to poor sales.

21. Steel Battalion Mega-Jockey-9000

The most complicated game controller ever, Mega-Jockey-9000 was designed for the Xbox-exclusive mech sim Steel Battalion. Its $200 price tag marked it as a collector’s item only for the mech-obsessed.

Photo Credit: @RealSophiaRobot

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20. Konami Laser Scope

Some accessories are rare because they’re coveted by collectors. This is not one of them. The voice-activated Laser Scope is about as functional as it is fashionable, so not many people bothered to keep them around.

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19. Sega Dreamcast Seaman Xmas Package

This rare Dreamcast bundle came with a console, controller, and memory card in red, plus a copy of the exceedingly bizarre pet sim Seaman.

18. Sega Dreamcast Dreameye

The Japan-only Dreameye was a digital camera and webcam for the Dreamcast. Sega intended to develop games that used the Dreameye, but it only ended up being used with a bundled photo editing program.

Sega Retro

17. Aiwa Mega CD

The most ‘90s device imaginable, the Aiwa Mega CD combined a Sega Mega Drive, Mega CD, and a boombox. Only a few were ever made, and they were sold only in Japan.

20th Century Retro Games

16. Family Fun Fitness Control Mat

Bandai’s Family Fun Fitness mat was a short-lived accessory for its Family Trainer game. After release, Nintendo bought the rights to the controller and rebranded it as the Power Pad.

Bandai

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15. PlayStation 2 Seaman Limited Edition Controller

Of course there’s more bizarre Seaman merch out there. This dedicated controller with a built-in microphone is as inscrutable as the game itself.

14. Game Boy Color sewing machine

This mashup turns a Game Boy into a sewing machine interface with Nintendo-themed patterns. It was manufacturer Jaguar’s way to get young people into sewing without developing its own digital interface.

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13. Sega Pico Pikachu Edition

Forget the console wars. Sega and Nintendo partnered on this special edition of Sega’s edutainment console, which came with a Pokémon-branded language learning game.

Digital Game Museum

12. PlayStation 2 virtual reality headset

Long before PSVR, the PS2 had a VR headset of its own in Japan. There were only two problems: It displayed 2D images with head-tracking instead of actual 3D and had a habit of making players motion sick.

11. Game Boy Camera Gold Legend of Zelda Edition

The gold Game Boy Camera could only be ordered from Nintendo Power and was made in limited quantities. It came preloaded with Legend of Zelda images not found on standard models.

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10. Game Boy Advance Famicom Color Wireless Adapter

GBA wireless adapters are easy to come by, but a special edition that matched the original Famicom was only available for a limited time through Club Nintendo.

9. Nintendo DSi XL Pokémon World Championship Edition

These rare consoles were awarded to Pokémon World Championship winners with new art every year.

Photo Credit: videogameszone.de

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8. Elemental Gearbolt Assassin’s Case

Given to a CES 1998 contest winner and members of the press, these rare cases came packed with a golden light gun, a memory card, and the light gun shooter Elemental Gearbolt.

7. Spider-Man PlayStation 4 VIP Kit

This treasure trove of Spider-Man merch included the already-rare Spider-Man PS4 console. It was given to gaming and comics industry members, and never went on sale.

Photo Credit: Louis D'Esposito

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6. Nintendo World Championships 1990 cartridge

Created for a 1990 tournament, this cartridge comes with timed versions of games like Super Mario Bros. and Tetris. Copies have sold for over $100,000 at auction.

5. The Mandalorian Xbox controllers

Back when Baby Yoda seemed to be the most talked-about thing in the world, Xbox gave away these two unique custom controllers in a sweepstakes.

Photo Credit: Xbox

Square Enix

4. Shadow of the Tomb Raider Xbox One X console

Only one of these lavish Xbox One X consoles was ever made, and it was sold in a charity auction. That makes it one of the rarest, most eye-catching consoles ever, on top of being for a good cause.

3. Gwent Xbox One console

Designed for a giveaway, this one-of-a-kind package takes cues from old-school station wagons with a wood-paneled console and controllers. The console even doubles as a storage chest for the controllers.

Photo Credit: Xbox UK

Atari Historical Society

2. Atari Cosmos

This unreleased console would have used an LED screen with a holographic overlay for some truly unique graphics. Alas, it was canceled before release, and only a handful of prototypes remain.

1. Nintendo PlayStation

This legendary prototype was made for a fizzled Sony-Nintendo partnership. It now belongs to Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who paid $300,000 at auction.

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