You now have the chance to own a truly one-of-a-kind Nintendo Wii... provided you have the well-stuffed bank account to match. Kotaku reports Dutch collector and Consolevariations owner Don is auctioning an infamous 24 karat gold-plated Wii bankrupt game developer THQ intended to deliver to Queen Elizabeth II in 2009. The system was meant as a promo piece for the forgettable mini-game collection Big Family Games, but never made it to Buckingham Palace due to an "understandably strict" royal gift policy. It returned to THQ, and popped up in 2017 after a collector obtained it from a studio contact. The unnamed owner eventually sold to Don.
Don first tried to sell the golden Wii on eBay in October 2021 with an asking price of $300,000. The marketplace shut him down, however, as a policy change flagged accounts that sold items at prices far outside of their usual range. The new auction is at Goldin, which doesn't have similar reservations.
You'll want to brace yourself if you're considering a purchase. Bidding has already reached $2,000 as of this writing, and we'd expect it to climb much higher (if not necessarily to $300,000) by the time the auction closes the evening of May 21st. This also isn't a mint-condition item, as there are signs of "scattered" gold chipping. And given that Nintendo shut down online multiplayer and Wii Shop services years ago, you probably won't do more with this machine than stare at it lovingly through a glass case.
Nonetheless, it won't be surprising if someone snaps up this Wii. Unlike many special edition consoles, this is a genuinely unique device with a story behind it. And like Nintendo World Championship cartridges or similar rarities, it's as much a snapshot of a moment in gaming history as anything else. The 24K gold Wii was the product of an era when audacious publicity stunts were still relatively commonplace in the game industry, and the new owner will likely remember that period for a long time to come.