Nintendo has released seven consoles, and issued several special edition consoles with unique designs for the N64, 2DS, 3DS, Switch, and more.
Throughout its lifetime, Nintendo has released many limited edition consoles alongside new titles. These themed consoles paired with popular Nintendo franchises like Super Mario, Pokémon, Legend of Zelda, and more. The unique designs on each limited edition console reflect Nintendo’s creativity and earn them a spot as some of the most unique consoles the company has ever produced.
Nintendo has developed seven home consoles since the company’s creation, and each has featured several limited-edition versions. Occasionally, Nintendo restricted limited edition console sales to its native country. As a result, Japanese Nintendo fans often received access to more themed limited edition consoles than fans in the United Kingdom or the United States. Each console featured a number of themed editions, though some were more memorable than others.
None of these limited edition consoles are currently available for purchase at retail, as Nintendo has halted production on each product. However, online sites such as eBay and Amazon offer new and used versions of these consoles at collector prices. Several models will run for thousands of dollars, far above their original cost. Diehard Nintendo fans interested in obtaining one of these consoles should ensure the legitimacy of any unlicensed listings before committing to a purchase.
Nintendo’s Hylian Shield Nintendo 2DS XL
The Hylian Shield Nintendo 2DS XL was initially released July 2nd, 2018, and was sold exclusively at GameStop. The limited-edition DS was designed after Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda, featuring the iconic Hylian markings and eagle. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds came preloaded on the Hylian Shield Nintendo 2DS XL consoles. The majority of the handheld console was painted silver and paired with a rich blue background. In addition, the Hylian eagle was painted in red, adding an extra flair to an already impressive version of Nintendo’s highly acclaimed Nintendo DS.
Nintendo’s N64 Pokémon Pikachu Console
Nintendo’s most iconic console was its Nintendo 64, which brought the company into the gaming industry’s spotlight. Equally impressive was Nintendo’s limited edition N64 Pikachu system. The deep blue and vibrant yellows were reminiscent of Pokémon’s theme, though an orange version was also released. A design of Pokémon’s Pikachu protruded from the top of the system, with one of its paws functioning as a reset button. A charming little Pokéball also adorns the system’s top, completing the iconic look. The Nintendo 64 Pikachu Edition sells today for thousands of dollars.
Nintendo’s 2DS XL Pokémon Pokéball Console
Nintendo’s officially licensed Pokémon Pokéball 2DS XL released as a limited edition promotional console for Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. This console released worldwide and featured unique design changes to the outer casing of the 2DS. The Pokéball’s button could be pressed, though it had no effect in gameplay or on the console’s home screen. The rest of the handheld console is a plain red, but the design matches Pokémon’s Pokéball aesthetic, making its theme simple yet effective. It’s believed approximately 100,000 and 1,000,000 were released according to ConsoleVariations, making this a more common limited edition console.
Nintendo’s GameCube Panasonic Q Console
Nintendo’s GameCube battled PlayStation and Xbox in the gaming console market for years and received limited editions to promote partnerships or GameCube titles. The Panasonic Q limited edition GameCube was the result of Panasonic and Nintendo’s partnership. Commonly referred to as the GameCube Q, this console released exclusively in Japan in December 2001. The GameCube Q was able to play DVDs, VCDs, audio CDs, and MP3 CDs alongside GameCube games. Unfortunately, the GameCube Q is only able to play discs of Japanese origin, limiting its viability in the market outside Japan. The GameCube Q featured sleek grey designs on its remote, controller, and console, with an additional interface at the top of the console to control DVD input.
Nintendo’s 2DS LL Dragon Quest Console
Dragon Quest’s Nintendo 2DS port was a highly anticipated addition to DS’ game library and received a limited edition Dragon Quest 2DS console to promote sales. The Dragon Quest 2DS console launched exclusively in Japan on July 28, 2017. Its casing featured black Dragon Quest-styled designs with liquid slime on the cover. Additionally, Nintendo’s Dragon Quest Nintendo 2DS LL shipped as a bundle with Dragon Quest XI. ConsoleVariation estimates approximately 10,000 and 50,000 Dragon Quest Nintendo 2DS consoles were made, with current eBay listings pricing the console between $100 to $300.
Nintendo’s Switch Labo Console
Nintendo’s Switch Labo console was available in Canada, Europe, Australia, and the United States as a prize for Nintendo fans who designed new Labo creations. Only ten console variations were released, with additional winners receiving the Labo JoyCons instead of the Labo Switch. Unlike other Nintendo Switch consoles, the Labo variation featured a cardboard-styled decal with soft pale colors accompanying the Labo logo on the Switch port. Labo Switch consoles appear on eBay for prices ranging from $300 to over $1000, depending on the system’s state and included titles.
Minecraft is a popular sandbox survival game the originated on PC but extended its reach to consoles as the title gained more attention. Nintendo took advantage of its popularity to partner with Minecraft and release the Creeper 2DS XL handheld console. Its design resembles Minecraft’s Creeper mob, a monster that explodes if players venture too near. In addition, the outer casing of the 2DS features several layers whose bumps mirror the cube aesthetic of Minecraft. The Creeper 2DS released with Minecraft preloaded on the console.
Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP Classic NES Console
Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance is a popular entry from Nintendo’s consoles, serving as the platform for many beloved Nintendo titles. The Game Boy Advance SP Classic NES console embraced nostalgia, with the limited edition Game Boy designed after the NES system. Its outer shell resembled the NES console, with the inside controls fashioned after the system’s controller. Though its designs were simple, this Game Boy stood out from other console variations with tasteful details, such as the Nintendo logo redesigned in the NES aesthetic.
iQue Game Boy Advance Mario & Luigi Console
Nintendo’s iQue Game Boy Advance was an officially licensed limited edition console, but Nintendo wasn’t the designer. Instead, a Chinese company called iQue was responsible for its creation and distribution. iQue maintained a partnership with Nintendo from 2002 until 2018 when Nintendo turned to other manufacturers for its upcoming Switch gaming systems, and would eventually become a Nintendo subsidiary. The iQue Game Boy Advance Mario & Luigi console was much smaller than other Game Boy Advance systems and was designed similarly to Nintendo controllers and the original Game Boy Color. The screen was centered between the Game Boy’s controls and featured cartoonish depictions of the Super Mario Brothers at the console’s base.
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