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Not a royal Wii: The $300,000 golden Nintendo console that Queen Elizabeth rejected is up for auction
It was meant to be fit for a queen, but now it’ll just have to fit in some well-heeled collector’s gaming setup. A golden Nintendo Wii originally created as a promotional gift for British royalty has found its way onto eBay, and the asking price is a princely sum indeed.
For $300,000, you could say “yes” to the bespoke golden console that Queen Elizabeth II once said “no” to — metaphorically, of course. We’re pretty sure that the marketing gimmick that reportedly delivered the glimmering gaming gadget to Buckingham Palace more than a decade ago didn’t have the political pull to get a direct audience with Her Majesty.
Years after developer THQ created the one-off console to promote its then-new BIG Family Games, the “24 Karat Golden Nintendo Wii,” as described on its eBay listing, is now up for grabs for us commoners. And while it doesn’t exactly have royal provenance, at least it does have an interesting backstory…plus, y’know, it’s gold (including the bundled Wii Remote).
Kotaku was on the ball back in 2009, when THQ mounted the royally Wii-diculous publicity stunt in the hopes of ginning up interest in BIG Family Games — a casual game collection that included 24 chilled-out group activities “from lawn darts to bocce,” according to the report. THQ’s marketing rationale, quoted by Kotaku at the time, certainly made sense: “BIG Family Games is the ultimate Wii game to get all family members, from grandparents to young children, playing together. The Royal Family is arguably the most important family in the country so we felt that they had to have a copy of the new game.”
Alas, the Queen apparently never set eyes on the bling-y Nintendo console — which probably shouldn’t come as a shock, since Wii Sports doesn’t even include cricket. Through a murky series of events, the golden game system wound up in the possession of a Dutch collector in 2017. The seller recently told game preservation website Consolevariations that he’s giving up his prized possession because he’s “[m]oving on with life” and needs the money to buy a house — and that the $300,000 asking price is “reasonable,” and even undercuts the pricing advice he’s received from friends.
Pieces of gaming history have been fetching a king’s ransom of late, so it wouldn’t surprise us in the slightest to see this gilded rig of yore find a buyer. As of this writing, the console’s sales listing showed 485 people watching the event — though there were still no takers. That means there’s still time to roll on over to eBay and pony up for a one-of-a-kind gaming system that could have your jealous pals coronating you as the rightful heir to the console-collecting throne.