Nintendo 3DS XL
Premium Gold Edition
Designed to celebrate the release of Pokémon X and Y (you'll see a pattern there with a number of the 3DS XL designs), the Premium Gold Edition was released exclusively in Japan which is a shame because it's stunning.
Just take a minute to soak in all of the detail on that outer casing. You've got Xerneas and the Gen VI starters on the front and then you flip this tasty little number over and boom! there's Yveltal on the bottom. Yep, this was a good 'un and we're a little envious of everyone who managed to get one.
Xerneas & Yveltal Blue Edition
A return to the usual brightness of the Pokémon special edition designs, this blue model again places the X and Y legendaries front and centre.
The Pokémon themselves look neat enough, but what is going on with that huge "X" and "Y" lettering in the background? At no point with previous designs did we think "you know, I like it, but I just wish it said 'DIAMOND' in huge letters across the back." Come on guys, we know which Pokémon game the special edition is from...
Xerneas & Yveltal Red Edition
"Do it the same but make it red!" That's how design meetings go, right?
Ooo now we're onto something interesting. This Japanese exclusive does away with putting the design's titular Pokémon in the limelight and instead focuses on getting the vibe of that Pokémon down. For Eevee, that's a series of stripes that match the colour palette of any dad's wardrobe, apparently.
You know what? It still kinda works. And we're always pleased to see the designs get mixed up a little (even if an image of Eevee still does appear on the bottom of the console).
Another Japanese exclusive and it's a return to the black and gold (but boy is it a nice one). As you flip this device over it reveals a flame coming out of Charizard's mouth and onto the bottom of the console. Now that's some smoking design ideas.
This might just be one of the most well-known Pokémon designs out there. Everyone saw one of these at some point, we're pretty sure. And how could you miss it? With that bright yellow and very close Pikachu, it's not one that you'd forget in a hurry.
Special Edition Sun & Moon Light Blue 2DS
The square design of the OG Nintendo 2DS often takes a bit of a beating (sometimes with good reason), but even we have to admit that this Sun and Moon design is pretty sweet.
Sure, it might not be the most Pokémon-inspired design out there, but we rate the colour changes on the buttons against the light blue casing and there is a Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten and Popplio silhouette on the front and back so it ticks enough boxes to make this list.
Pokémon Blue Edition
Ah yes, we're back on the primal rush of seeing the interior workings of our console thanks to the wonders of transparent plastic. It can't overcome the shortcomings of the 2DS' squareness, but it's surely moving in the right direction.
New Nintendo 3DS XL
Pikachu Yellow Edition
A member of the DS family of consoles? With a Pikachu on the front? Whatever will they think of next??
Yes, this might have carried over the theme that we have seen on many occasions by this point, but we like the sketch art style of the titular 'mon here and there is also something strangely satisfying about how he fits nicely on the lid without spilling over onto the console's back.
Solgaleo Lunala Black Edition
This edition was released in conjunction with Pokémon Sun and Moon and it continues the design idea of "Legendary Pokémon, but make it classy".
Proudly putting images of the Gen VII legendaries front and centre, this model uses that level of simplistic black-and-white artwork to really make the design pop that we have seen elsewhere. It might not be gold or silver (much to our disappointment), but it's still a nice change from the brightness of Pikachu.
New Nintendo 2DS XL
Poké Ball Edition
We are still pretty shocked that it took Nintendo this long to come up with a Poké Ball design for one of its consoles. That's surely some low-hanging Razz Berries, right?
Well, we finally got one with the New Nintendo 2DS XL and it is just as bright and red as we would have expected. Nintendo would surely tone it down a bit for its next design, right...?
Wrong! We're back on the big ol' Pikachu designs. With only the face taking up the lid's entire outer casing, this has surely got to be the biggest Pikachu on any of the special editions. The snout (assuming you'd call that area of a Pikachu its snout) also bulges out of the lid a little, creating a nice 3D effect — noteworthy for a console that is, by definition, not 3D.
Let's Go, Pikachu! & Eevee! Edition
Ah, remember when special edition Switch designs used to be reasonably restrained? Those were the days.
Released worldwide to promote Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu & Eevee!, this model is a pretty nice one. You've got the brown and yellow Joy-Cons to represent the titular stars and a funky little bit of detailing on the back showing off some more 'mon silhouettes.
If we had one complaint, it would be the size of the full-colour Pokémon on the Switch Dock. But just play it in handheld and this is easily forgotten. You can't win them all.
Nintendo Switch Lite
Zacian and Zamazenta Edition
Used to promote Pokémon Sword and Shield, this is another example of Nintendo being relatively restrained with its designs — what was happening with the world at this point?
Sure, the bright red and blue buttons are a little out there, but the Zacian and Zamazenta images on the reverse are pretty sleek (if not a bit hard to see with that white-on-white doing the design no favours here).
Dialga and Palkia Edition
Well, well, well. Mr Clooney called and he wants his Switch Lite back.
There's something about the black and gold (and silver) designs that really get us throughout the entire Pokémon collection. Perhaps it's because most of the other designs are so bright that it's recommended you don't look directly at them, but this range just has that touch of class that many of the others are sorely lacking.
Nintendo Switch OLED
Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Edition
Speaking of a touch of class, this one doesn't have it.
Look, the all-out colour fest of an OLED design might have cut the mustard on something like the Splatoon 3 special edition, but for the relatively restrained Pokémon franchise by comparison? Perhaps we could tone it down just a little...
It's too much, too fast, all at once. Maybe we should have taken this as a sign of how Pokémon Scarlet and Violet would end up playing.
There were some designs that we couldn't throw into the above list on account of them not being proper consoles in their own right, but we thought that they deserved a mention anyway.
The GameCube's Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness Decals couldn't be more 2000s if it tried. What better way to let your mates know your love for the franchise than covering your console in dark and edgy lightning stickers?
A similar (albeit more cute) way of customising your console was achieved by the New Nintendo 3DS Pokémon cover plates. There was a boatload of these out there with designs ranging from Pikachus (obviously) to a giant Charizard or Blastoise. If you opted for one of these instead of forking out the money for a whole new console, we tip our Poké-caps to you.
Well, there you have it. All of the Pokémon-themed consoles that were at least partially available outside specific stores, laid out in beautiful list form. Which one is your favourite? Fill out the following poll and then take to the comments to let us know which one has you saying "I choose you" — and tell us if we missed anything!
Which Nintendo console has the best Pokémon design? (745 votes)
- Blue Pikachu N6410%
- Light Blue Pikachu N64 0%
- Orange Pikachu N64 0%
- Pokémaniac N641%
- Yellow Version GBC7%
- Pikachu and Pichu GBC2%
- Gold and Silver GBC1%
- Clear Green GBC1%
- Clear Blue GBC1%
- XD Gale of Darkness GameCube1%
- Pikachu GBA SP3%
- Pikachu Game Boy Micro1%
- PokéPark DS 0%
- Mew DS1%
- Pikachu DS Lite 0%
- Dialga and Palkia DS Lite3%
- Pokémon Black DSi7%
- Pokémon White DSi1%
- Premium Gold 3DS XL5%
- Xerneas & Yveltal Blue 3DS XL3%
- Xerneas & Yveltal Red 3DS XL2%
- Eevee 3DS XL1%
- Charizard 3DS XL3%
- Pikachu 3DS XL4%
- Sun & Moon Light Blue 2DS1%
- Pokémon Blue Edition 2DS1%
- Pikachu Yellow Edition New 3DS XL1%
- Solgaleo Lunala Black Edition New 3DS XL1%
- Poké Ball New 2DS XL11%
- Pikachu New 2DS XL3%
- Let's Go, Pikachu & Eevee Switch6%
- Zacian and Zamazenta Switch Lite4%
- Dialga and Palkia Switch Lite1%
- Scarlet and Violet Switch OLED13%
Dragon king tourney charizard 3ds xl
I didn't own any of those special versions (because I already owned the respective consoles) but the Dialga&Palkia DS Lite and the Pokemon Black DSi are imo the coolest ones
Zacian and Zamazenta Switch Lite is simple yet gorgeous! I had the Yveltal Red 3DS. Bytheway, you got the Zacian/Zamazenta image and BrilliantDiamond/ShiningPearl image switched up.
The 3DS was a generation filled with great Pokemon console designs.
Pikachu 3DS. I have that one and I quite love the look of that one, it's so cute!
I also have the X and Y black 3DS, but I'm not the biggest fan of that one by comparison even if it's currently my main system for the 3DS series.
All in all though, Pokémon systems generally had pretty nice, if simple, designs, and I quite like the majority of them.
I used to have a Pokéball 2ds XL. It was gifted to me after a stint in the hospital, bundled with Pokemon Ultra Moon. I already owned a 3ds XL, but I still loved it. I gave it to a parent who’s son was battling cancer at the hospital to pay it forward. After she gave her son the gift, I was later told the response was great. I believe that was the best thing I could do, since I had recently picked up a switch for myself.
Palkia and Dialga DS and Xerneas and Yveltal Red 3DS
Pokémon Black/White DSi by far. Those look kind of classy and clean, and suitably premium.
I voted for the Dialga and Palkia Switch Lite.
As one of the six Sun and Moon fans, it sucks that it has by far the worst special edition console since the Gameboy.
I didn't initially like the Zacian/Zamazenta one, but over the few years I've been using it, it's rather grown on me. The Dialga/Palkia ones both look nice, and I like the way the Switch lite one resembles the old one, but they could have been a bit more creative with it. Those, along with the Scarlet/Violet OLED, are the only ones I'd consider buying for myself. Especially the OLED. I really like that one.
I was lucky enough, when searching for a New 3DS XL to replace my dying OG 3DS, to stumble upon a Solgaleo and Lunala design that I forgot existed, and for a cheap-ish price! Lapped it up, it's a thing of beauty. Seems they left it off Bulbapedia's list as it had a worldwide release! For shame!
A Pikachu New Nintendo 3DS XL variant was forgotten! Here it is! https://consolevariations.com/variation/console/new-nintendo-3ds-ll-pikachu-console-1
I would say, out of all of those that the Poké Ball 2DS is probably my favorite one not only because of its sleek design, but also because it does not cater to a specific Pokémon or game. Its design represents Pokémon as a whole and that to me is what a great design does. It represents a series as a whole.
I have the Red X&Y 3DS XL, Pikachu New 3DS Xl, the Pokeball 2DS XL, the Zacian & Zamazenta Switch lite and my fav Pokemon Scarlet & Violet OLED.
I really don't like how it keeps getting omitted in these special edition consoles list, but the best Pokemon themed console is the very limited edition Meganium & Pichu Switch that came out for New Pokemon Snap
Probably the Poke Ball 2DSXL, the Nintendo DSi Black Edition, and honestly, the Scarlet/Violet edition. There's just something really eye catching and interesting about the Scarlet/Violet edition.
The 3DS/2DS family had some of the best special edition designs of any console generation and not just pokemon ones. My personal favourite Pokémon one though is the Pikachu 2DS XL.
They’re all great, but gen 4 switch lite takes it for me
For me it’s the Pokémon 20th anniversary edition new 3ds, glad I picked it up when it was $200, now the prices for those are crazy..😳
The Gameboy and N64 versions are legendary. They were literally the dogs bits back in the day!
That clear blue GBC is pretty attractive, I voted for that.
The N64 Pikachu with light up cheeks!!!
It's gotta be one of the yellow GBCs. They had a lot of thought put into them, especially with the power light.
Be honest, in general the 3DS XL got the best special designs overall.
But ignoring that the Blue Xerneas and Yvetal design is perfect. Special, but not in your and everyone else's faces about it.
I love all of these, but if I had to pick one, it has to be the Black and White DSi. It just looks phenomenal.
My Pikachu 3DS XL has my ambassador games on it. So it’s a very important console for me.
Gotta go with the pikachu 3DS XL just because pikachu has camera nipples and that’s just funny to me
Isn't there a pikachu handheld missing? 🤔
I used to have the "Pokémon Gold and Silver Game Boy Color" Handheld Console... for all of 2 minutes, after which we realized the screen wasn't working. We sent it in for repairs, and were promised a replacement, but... I never got one...
While I didn't have it long, I do remember the Gold/Silver-Color-Changing Gimmick it had, and how it felt so magical at the time!
The Switch OLED and the 3ds models are my favorite
Can I say all of them? they are all cool.
But nah, I have a favourite, the Pikachu and Eevee switch, I love the design but its more for personal reasons.
You see I bought the OG model around when splatoon 3 released IIRC but then shortly after, the Pikachu and Eevee model came out and I just had to have it, but when it released money was super tight, so I couldn't really afford to get it. But my Nan gave me some christmas money to put towards it so with her help, I traded my old one in for that. I was so ridiculously grateful, because it just seemed so silly to spend money on something I already had, but she didn't care she knew how much I liked Pokemon (at the time not so much now) we used to play for hours with my Pokemon plushies when I was a kid, making up stories with them. But yeah she's no longer with us. So it just reminds me of her in a weird way. She just had the most kindhearted generous soul and would have done anything for her family if they needed it and I miss her dearly.
On a more light-hearted note, I love this Switch because that's when I really started playing games. I played before sure since about 8 I would guess, but this console helped me branch out so much. Before I would just play Pokemon, harvest moon and animal crossing, and while I still love those games, it's crazy to think what I play now, I have dabbled in about every genre imaginable, I have played (and backlogged) literally hundreds of games on this little machine and it's so precious to me. I'm never gonna be playing hardcore games that's for sure, but I'm literally at a loss whenever someone says there's no games on this thing.
Not only that this thing keeps me sane. It helped me through so many hard times, and keeps me engaged all the time and for someone without any friends really, that means everything.
The joycons have pretty much unsaveable drift and its been through the wars, its in actually in pretty good shape given how much its used, but I think my hands eroded the print on the back of it, not as striking as it used to be XD But I never upgraded and I don't think I ever will till the Switch 2 or whatever, but I'm still keeping this even if it kicks the bucket on me.
So yeah heavily biased, but its super cute and has great colours too! That was what this article was asking right? XD
@GloverMist This. I own a lot of the consoles on this list (7) but my favourite is definitely the black Solgaleo/Lunala version New 3ds XL. The gloss black with the silver accents for the stenciled legendaries is just a proper looking sleek.
My favourite Pokémon console is the Giratina DS lite that was available through Club Nintendo in Europe. I used to dream of collecting the 30,000 stars required for it.
Scarlet and Violet Oled for me. That Pokemon design is the best one.
I am biased, but I picked the blue Pikachu N64 because I grew up with one.
@JimNorman Incredibly sorry to bother you, but you forgot this Pokémon edition. This is the on https://consolevariations.com/variation/console/new-nintendo-3ds-ll-pikachu-console-1
Since I still own the Pikachu DS Lite... I'll go with that. It's probably my favorite handheld ever because of the beautiful yellow color.
Untold amounts of hours were spent playing on that device. Mostly Dragon Quest IX, but still...
Voted for Pikachu N64, with Switch OLED Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Edition the next best. Those lead the poll too. I would have voted for New 3DS XL Samus Edition had it been included. It's also the only themed system I own from any era.
I honestly don’t like many of these. I personally feel like they’re too boring, or they’re kind of tacky. I do really like the BD/SP Lite, and the B/W and X/Y models for DS/3DS.
I'm going with the Game Boy Micro because it's the most understated. Most of these are just too much.
I remember going into a store and seeing two or three pallets of the Pikachu N64 on clearance back in the day. Kind of kicking myself now for not grabbing one.
The GBA SP looks nice, and also some of the 3ds models.
For me it's gotta be the 2DS version that has pikachu's little face on the front! x3
@Nintendog1000 Ah yes, you are right! I have added it to both the article and the poll now so you can cast your vote 😁
Voting for the only one I have so the Pikachu and Pichu GBC!
I have the Pikachu GBC and N64, the Mew DS, and the Black DSi. I HAD the Pikachu 3DS XL, and would have loved to get the Pikachu GBA SP when I still collected all that stuff.
I may get the grey-ish Switch Lite, as I consider getting a Lite and that one has the nicest colours for buttons. The Let's Go Switch is amazing, but I won't pay inflated price for a replacement of my Switch, and I'll ugrade to either an OLED or a Lite when I need a new one (battery is acting up...)
N64 is the coolest.
GBA SP and Let's Go Switch are the cutest, that 3DS @Nintendog1000 mentioned is beautiful as well, hadn't seen it before.
Mew DS is like Mew itself, the most mysterious, you barely notice it's a Mew DS unless you know.
The 2DS with the 3d Pikachu face is also very nice, but I was never interested in getting a 2DS when I had (several) 3DS's.
Why only the Pokemon Blue transparent 2DS? There was a red and yellow one too (and green in Japan).
They should have made a DS or 3DS that looked like a Pokédex.
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