10 Of The Rarest, Elusive & Unusual Special / Limited Edition Retro Game Consoles Ever Released

10-Of-The-Rarest-Elusive-Unusual-Special-Limited-Edition-Retro-Game-Consoles-Ever-ReleasedAlthough we’re all happy getting our retro gaming fix on just about anything we can find, nothing beats the allure of limited edition classic gaming hardware. With so much of so little on offer, we take a look at five of the rarest and most desirable items of special edition retro gaming hardware.

Whether it was for gaming street-cred or just the pure aesthetics of a limited edition console, everybody wanted that slick, different-colour, decal heavy re-release. Sadly for a lot of us back in the day buying the same system twice for nothing other than looks was very hard to justify - especially if your parents were your main source of gaming goodness.

With this in mind a lot of rereleased hardware sporting new styles has gone a miss. We’d say the combination of both our own desires to (stay sane and) pretend these systems never existed coupled with the fact that some of these pieces of hardware are so limited, are without a doubt the reason we sadly don’t own them.

So get your wallets at the ready and try not to scream as we rekindle those lost desires to own something a little bit different.

White Sega Game Gear Handheld

White-Sega-Game-GearAt 11 million units sold worldwide, it’s safe to say that even in the Nintendo Game Boy’s shadow the Sega Game Gear was still a success. Out of these 11 million though are an extremely limited number of 10,000 White Sega Game Gear handhelds. With the White’s occupying a mere 0.09% of the Game gear population, you’re going to have to hunt high and low for one of these beauties.

While the handheld itself is a thing of beauty, it wouldn’t be complete without the rest of its white gear that it was released with in Japan. Arriving in a stunning hard white carrycase, an accompanying exclusive white TV Tuner adapter was also included to add the finishing touches to an already perfect piece of art.

Find White Sega Game Gear on eBay


Gold Legend of Zelda Game Boy Advance SP

Gold-Zelda-Game-Boy-Advance-SPNintendo’s promotional hardware to tie in with the release of Link’s Minish Cap outing is something we’re all too familiar with for all the wrong reasons. A lot of people were lured into purchasing this shimmering SP for reasons which never seemed to materialise.

In 2004 the newly arriving gold handheld was advertised as a Willy Wonka Chocolate Bar, with just a select few of the boxes out there supposedly containing a golden ticket - one which could be exchanged for a solid 24-carat gold Game Boy Advance SP. Where these valuable and blingtastic SPs are today though is anyone’s guess, as not a shred of evidence exists to confirm their existence.

While the handheld is identical to that of a standard SP (and not even the brighter backlit AGS-101 model at that), nothing quite beats the feel of unfolding a gold coloured Game Boy Advance SP sporting the Triforce logo upon the upper lid.

Find Gold Legend of Zelda Game Boy Advance SP on eBay


Pokemon Stadium Nintendo 64 Battle Set

Pokemon-Stadium-Battle-Set-Nintendo-64When you mention the words ‘limited’, ‘N64’ and ‘Pokemon’ to a collector they’ll instantly remind you of the oversized light up Pikachu Nintendo 64 console. While this is a rather collectible bit of hardware fetching reasonable prices online, the real gem of Limited Edition Pokemon Nintendo 64 console is the incredibly elusive Pokemon Stadium set.

This console was more a vanilla take on the system in comparison to it’s oddly shaped Pikachu counterpart. While this might not seem that impressive, the blue and yellow system featured two vertical Pokemon decals beside the cartridge slot and had a matching control pad to sweeten the deal. 

The set also came packed with some Pokemon goodies, which collectors today will need to keep their eye out for. Not only was the Pokemon Stadium game and Transfer pack hidden within the box, but also several episodes of the Pokemon anime on video tape was included.

Find Pokemon Stadium Nintendo 64 Set on eBay


Sega Multi-Mega

Sega-Multi-MegaThe Sega Multi-Mega wasn’t a special edition release per se, but one that somehow felt limited due to it being Sega’s umpteenth iteration of their 16-bit hardware range combined into one. 

Needless to say by 1994 (or 1995 in Europe) the thought of buying yet another item from Sega’s hardware range, which served the exact same purpose as all the others we already owned, didn’t make much sense - especially when the same investment could secure the newly released Sega Saturn.

While most people are aware of the Multi-Mega for its elusive nature and high market value, it also deserves a special mention for being (what we believe to be) the only video game console that doubled up as a portable CD player. Nothing else screams the 1990s more than this combination!

Find Sega Multi-Mega on eBay


Panasonic Q Nintendo Gamecube

Panasonic-Q-Nintendo-GamecubeWith both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox supporting DVD playback during the sixth gaming generation, the cute ‘cube we all grew to love was somewhat lacking in the functionality department. While you could argue that ‘it’s a games console, not a media system’, sales figures for the Gamecube’s rivals speak volumes.

Panasonic, however, wanted to bring Nintendo up to scratch where media playback is concerned. Collaboratively the two Japanese powerhouses created the Panasonic Q, a Nintendo Gamecube which doubled up as a DVD Player with a backlit LCD screen, a front-loading slot disc drive, optical sound output supporting Dolby Digital 5.1, a separate subwoofer jack, and a stainless steel chassis. It was the bee’s knees.

This luxury version of the Nintendo Gamecube had a price tag to emphasise its intended lifestyle. At $300 more than the Gamecube’s launch price of $199, only those driving around in 4x4 and sitting on a throne made of Famicom cartridges could afford this beauty.

Find Panasonic Q Nintendo Gamecube on eBay


This Is Cool Sega Saturn

This-Is-Cool-Sega-SaturnWhen something refers to itself as being cool, it’s usually far from the truth. The This Is Cool Sega Saturn though is an exception, as it really is, well, cool. The translucent black ‘Skeleton’ system is a thing of beauty, with a matching control pad to accompany it.

Japan, however, probably didn’t see this console model in the same light as the rest of world. Given they already had a pristine pearl white system available by default, alongside grey, charcoal, light grey and black coloured systems, they were simply spoilt for choice.

With only 50,000 units made available, the console has since become one of the most desirable Sega Saturn collectibles out there, and quite rightly so. Only the Alpha-Males need apply.

Find This Is Cool Sega Saturn on eBay


Astro Boy Nintendo Game Boy Light Handhelds

Astro-Boy-Game-BoyRemember all those garish light accessories we used to attach to our Nintendo Game Boy’s in the hope of securing more playtime after dark? Well, Japan had no use for those thanks to their exclusive Game Boy Light series - a variation of the handheld which was self illuminated. Not fair, huh?

Nintendo were far from shy in creating limited edition hardware all over the world. With Manchester United branded Game Boys, Tommy Hilfiger Game Boy Colors, Pokemon Centre Game Boy Advances and much more, collectors today have a very tough task on their hands to find every iteration. The Astro Boy branded Game Boy Light is no exception, especially given there are two versions available.

Coming in either a clear red or clear casing decorated with Astro Boy decals, both handhelds are every retro gamer’s dream. Both, however, are somewhat of a mystery given that despite making an appearance on the Nintendo Famicom, Astro Boy was a non-existent character in the Nintendo Game Boy library of software.

Find Astro Boy Game Boy Light on eBay


10 Million Model Sony PlayStation 1

Midnight-Blue-PS1The Sony PlayStation was a runaway success in the mid-90s. Given it sold over 100 million units during its lifespan, it seems a little odd that Sony only celebrated the first 10 million sales with a limited edition variant of their irreplaceable hardware.

The 10 Million Model Sony PlayStation is nothing more than a Midnight Blue coloured system. While this doesn’t sound like anything special, you’ll be hard pressed to actually located one of these rarities. With some websites suggesting less than 100 of these units were made for PAL audiences, don’t be surprised if you see one of these breaking a die hard retro gamer’s bank.

Find 10 Million Model Sony PlayStation on eBay


Sega Dreamcast Resident Evil Code Veronica Limited Box

Sega-Dreamcast-Code-Veronica-SetTo celebrate the launch of the fourth Resident Evil game in the main series, Capcom joined up with Sega to release an incredibly small run of limited edition hardware packs. 

The Resident Evil Code Veronica Limited Box, as they were known came in two flavours; a clear red Claire Redfield version and a clear dark purple STARS version. Both of these included a matching controller, the Resident Evil: Code Veronica game, Dream Passport 2 (Dreamkey as we’d call it in Europe) and a snippet of BioHazard merchandise.

With just 1800 of the Claire Redfield systems reported as being produced, you’ll have to be prepared to trawl eBay for the rest of your life to secure one of these. Finding a STARS system, however, will take all eternity as a mere 200 were made. Good luck!

Find Sega Dreamcast Resident Evil Code Veronica Limited Box on eBay


PC Engine Shuttle

PC-Engine-ShuttleAs far as video game consoles go, the PC Engine is by far one of the best designed systems of all time. With such form packed into a tiny and sleek space, why would you bother revising it? Well NEC did, and countless times they did too. But their most bizarre offering has to be the PC Engine Shuttle.

Supposedly NEC were looking to attract a younger audience to their growing range of classics, however, they ended confusing just about everyone. Their PC Engine Shuttle console featured exactly the same innards as the original system, only it came in one of the most unusual casings ever made - one designed to look like a space ship ready for orbit.

The aptly named Shuttle unfortunately bombed, but not due to its form factor. The revised, yet the same inside, console was priced higher than its standard counterpart despite being aimed at a younger audience. Needless to say the older PC Engine fans didn’t touch it either, leaving this intergalactic console to gather dust.

Find PC Engine Shuttle on eBay


Do you happen to own any of these elusive and unusual retro gaming systems? Be sure to let us know which limited editions you own, where you got them from and when in the comments below.


Last Updated ( 17 January 2013 )  

Cauterize

Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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Comments 

(Link to this comment) Mayhem 2012-10-12 12:39
I guess no two of the same system? There was limited Famicom version of the GBA SP only available through a prize draw and Club Nintendo in Japan, different decals to the one generally sold. I think the total run was 3000. I have both the regular and limited version here in my collection. Also I wonder if the Coca Cola Game Gear is rarer than the white one or not.
(Link to this comment) hash47 2012-10-22 00:15
The second famicom edition is wonderful, has the original decals of the original famicom. I lust over them when i see them on ebay but can never buy one due to the price!
(Link to this comment) chocklo 2012-10-12 13:34
Got four of the above. The Multimega hasn't seen light for a while. Might get it out for a whirl. Speaking of the Play Expo, I picked up my complete Panasonic Q this time last year from console passion. At a snip under £200 - I think it was £170, I thought I'd scored a right bargain. The Gameboy lights are fantastic. The one to watch out for (like I've been doing for the past year) is the skeleton yellow toys r us one - I've seen two loose one go and no complete ones so far. The catalogue (black cardboard box, not the one with the spacegirl on front) famitsu one is also proving elusive. They show up, but I really don't fancy paying £400 for it. Pokemon Centre GB Lights seem to show up often enough. That's probably my next target. Nice article mate!
(Link to this comment) hash47 2012-10-22 00:19
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(Link to this comment) NufcDazzla 2012-10-12 13:48
The Shuttle? I always thought the PC Engine LT was rarer than that, I've not seen one of those on ebay for cheaper than £750!!
(Link to this comment) Cauterize 2012-10-13 07:01
Quoting NufcDazzla:
The Shuttle? I always thought the PC Engine LT was rarer than that, I've not seen one of those on ebay for cheaper than £750!!

Oh by all means it is. We're just looking at unusual and special systems as well as rare ones too. :)
(Link to this comment) jrronimo 2012-10-12 17:23
Cool article. I *love* the look of that red Dreamcast. I've never been a fan of Resident Evil games, though.

I've got a CDX (the NA Sega MultiMega) that I bought from a friend some years back for a decent price. You can run the system off AA batteries as a portable CD Player as mentioned, but a wall plug is required for actual gaming.

I also have one of the Minish-cap era SPs (but not the award-winning one, of course). I lived in Australia when those were being sold and they were suuuper common at the stores. Mine didn't come pre-packaged with Minnish Cap; it was a complete standalone. Well worth it, though; it's one of my favorites.
(Link to this comment) MRCL 2012-10-13 12:28
Huh. Panasonic Qs pop up quite often here, albeit for heartattack-inducing prices (saw a few for 900 CHF).
The clear Saturns however appear quite common to me actually... Or are there differences in EU/US/JAP console quantities and you reference the rarity of the Japanese editions? Either way looks like I should have gone for the cheap clear Saturn when I had the chance, but noooo I couldn't wait and bought another, black one.
(Link to this comment) hydr0x 2012-10-13 12:37
MRCL, as the title says its rare OR unusual. Doesn't have be the rarest.
(Link to this comment) MRCL 2012-10-13 16:24
Right, my mind was fixed on rare and consequently ignored the word unusual.
(Link to this comment) Level Up Games 2012-10-13 19:33
The Panasonic Q Cube's are beautiful in the flesh - anyone who hasn't been close to one, can't really appreciate just how tastefully bling they are!!

Adding to their rarity is the matching Gameboy Player that came out for them, matching colour and longer footprint to match the dimensions of the Q Cube (with the dvd drive and the extra electronics the depth of them increased by about a third - no longer technically a cube ;)
The Gameboy Players are silly money, almost as much as the Q Cube itself! saw a boxed one go on bidding for at least £150 earlier in the year if I remember right 0_o
(Link to this comment) BuckoA51 2012-10-14 11:39
I didn't realise Pokemon Stadium Nintendo 64 Battle Set was that rare, I've got one but the box is in terrible condition (previous owner vandalised) and the video is missing, but the console itself definitely looks a lot nicer than the Pikachu model.
(Link to this comment) Farzlepot 2012-10-21 14:53
I'm pretty sure my cousin had one of those Pokemon N64s. I know it was a Pokemon console, and it wasn't the ridiculously shaped one.

The horror is, I'm pretty sure he threw it out, and I had no idea until he'd already done it. I wonder how many other retro gems have met their demise at the mouth of a wheelie bin?
(Link to this comment) DemonicNinja 2013-03-10 08:47
Really awesome article,,loved the dreamcast resident evil version
(Link to this comment) Firthy2002 2013-10-25 15:18
I wanted a Panasonic Q when they first came out, as at the time I didn't have a DVD player nor GameCube and reckoned I'd kill two birds with one stone. Especially since Lik-Sang were selling them with FreeLoader disc included, how could I lose?
Luckily it was beyond financial reach of myself and my family so I'd never have got one. Only later did I discover that I'd have needed the special Q Gameboy Player if I wanted one!

Whilst I still don't have a GameCube, I will opt for a regular one if I do eventually get one!
(Link to this comment) xDragonWarrior 2014-06-27 07:32
Man I got the Shuttle and Didn't even know it was so rare.Not selling it though.
(Link to this comment) piginapoke 2014-11-01 09:29
Nice article. I want a complete Sharp x68000. One day......
(Link to this comment) redrohX 2015-04-24 18:06
Ah yes Lik Sang... good times... the shop I bought my Panasonic Q from. The GameBoy Player for the Q is indeed even more special and harder to find. I have it boxed (the Q too). Hope to retire from it some day :-P (just kiddin')
+1 (Link to this comment) NWA32X 2015-07-12 10:54
Surprised that the Aiwa MegaDrive didn't make the top 10.
(Link to this comment) AMSY777 2016-02-16 17:38
i have a SEGA MULTIMEGA :lol:
(Link to this comment) AMSY777 2016-02-16 17:42
(Link to this comment) SixtySixHundred 2016-04-20 02:02
I own a Multi-Mega too. Bought it years ago. Was intrigued by being able to use it off of AA batteries, but as mentioned above, it requires a wall socket for gameplay. That's why I bought the Nomad.. 'Wise' purchases, eh? And while I was aware of the Panasonic Q, I thought that it was a thing of legend! Never knew I could actually buy one, (after re-mortgaging my house, that is. I'd need the Gameboy player, too). That thing really is lovely to look at and if I ever find one in the wild, I'm buying it!

I also think that Nintendo need to answer a question regarding that 24 carat GBASP! Eloquently put, that question would be, WTF?
Where is the Gold SP? Also, just how heavy would that thing be? Well I suppose that's more than one question... Oh well.

Another great read. Thanks. :)
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