Limited Editions Consoles: The Race to Exclusivity
Limited Edition Consoles: The Race to Exclusivity.
We see more and more "Limited Editions" consoles being released. Sometimes created for an anniversary, part of a bundle, or as a contest prize, this type of console became hugely popular in the past years among collectors, players & fans.
Back in the late 80's when 8 Bits home consoles were running the game, no limited editions really existed.
At the time, the two main players were Nintendo and Sega.
Big N had his Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega its Master System, which both were hugely successful in and outside the Land of the Rising Sun.
Only bundles were released at the time, particularly for the Nintendo NES.
Although not offering a limited edition of the console per- se, the "Action Set" bundle for the Nintendo NES included a 2-in-1 game (Duck Hunt & Mario Bros.), the console of course, and the Nintendo Zapper.(the "Gun" or "Beam Gun" in Japan)
This accessory allowed players to aim at the television set display and "shoot" various objects that appeared on the screen. Nowadays, it has become an iconic piece of retrogaming.
The 16 Bits era has seen several brands introducing the video game console industry, such as NEC or SNK (32Bits).
This generation has seen limited editions of consoles and/or add-ons being more common.
The arrival of handheld consoles also created opportunities for brands to release limited and special editions of consoles, such as this rare White Game Gear that came with a dedicated case and a TV tuner. Only 10,000 units have been produced.
This generation of consoles has seen some of the most popular consoles of all time, such as the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo Game Boy Light, the Sega Saturn, or a new player that will soon become the one who will rule them all: the Sony Playstation.
One of the limited edition console that was released at that time was the highly rare Nintendo Game Boy Light Tezuka Osamu World Limited Edition.
This generation of consoles has seen the democratization of limited editions for consoles.
With the release of consoles like the Sony Playstation 2 (PS2), the Nintendo Gamecube, the Sega Dreamcast or the Microsoft Xbox, all retrogaming icons, the manufacturers took advantage of partnerships with other brands and IPs, to develop limited series of their consoles.
Some of them are extremely rare, due to the very limited number of units produced.
This generation of consoles has the the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3), the Microsoft Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii.
This generation has seen an unprecedented number of unlimited editions for its consoles.
The Sony Playstation was probably the one that had the most versions of Limited editions, such as the Metal Gear, One Piece or the Star Wars Xbox 360.
The current generation, lead by the Sony Playstation 4, the Xbox One and the Nintendo Wii U, keeps on offering Limited Editions consoles.
One of the most famous Limited Edition console was the Playstation 4 (PS4) released by Sony for the 20th anniversary of the brand Playstation.
Only 12300 units have been produced, which was very low compared to other limited editions.
The rarity combined with the huge demand from players and collectors drove the prices as high as 10,000 USD on the 2nd hand market.
Retrogaming & Limited Editions.
Recently, brands such as Nintendo have been releasing Limited Editions of their consoles, considered retrogaming today.
The Nintendo NES Classic Mini has been released as a collector edition. It is a miniature replica of its oler sister the Nintendo NES released in 1985. Its equivalent, the Famicom, which was released in 1983 in Japan also exists.
Later in 2017, Nintendo announced the second released on a similar miniature console: the Nintendo Super NES (SNES)/ Super Nintendo/Super Famicom. The 3 versions will be released in September 2017.
Originally from Paris - France, Alex is the founder of RetroPixl. He has called Asia home since 2006. He is passionate about video games in general, retrogaming and collectible toys in particular.