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The Strangest Special Edition Xbox One Console Ever Released

The relationship between the world of fast cars and fast consoles has by and large been a successful one. Video games allow auto enthusiasts to drive their dream cars, regardless of price obstacles, decorated in whatever garish paint jobs they can imagine, against faraway friends in a safe, digital environment.

On the other hand, vehicles and racing are a natural fit for competitive, action-heavy experiences designers seek and gamers crave. The hugely anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 may seem to have its hand's full imagining a vibrant, neon future world of cyborgs, but the conceptual vehicles featured in-game were a huge focus for the design team. They featured so heavily in the game's pre-release hype that Rockstar Energy even recreated Cyberpunk 2077's signature Quadra in real life!

While recreating an imaginary car from a videogame may sound a bit odd, things get even weirder when console manufacturers attempt the opposite. To celebrate the 2016 release of Forza: Horizon 3, Microsoft created perhaps the strangest special edition console ever released: an Audi R8 themed Xbox One S.

The Audi R8 Xbox One S had few fans

The Forza Horizon series has always been something of an odd spin-off of Microsoft's flagship Forza series, but that hasn't kept it from earning praise. The series places drivers at a street race/music festival in Colorado and provides an open world where competitors race to earn wristbands, which is honestly probably not the worst way to get into a festival.

While the concept is hilarious, Microsoft and Playground Games turned the series into a success, and 2016's Forza Horizon 3 was no exception. The game received universal acclaim from reviewers and fans alike. Cross-promotion being what it is, Microsoft decided to team up with German auto manufacturer Audi to produce an Audi R8 Edition Xbox One S one-off special edition console.

The gaming community was unimpressed, with VG247 calling it "butt ugly" and Gameranx referring to it as "hideous." Even less kind, however, was the car community. The Drive described it as "something that might autonomously whirl around your living room sucking up dirt, or Tony Stark's gross battery-powered electric shaver. There's a matching controller, also ugly." The article ended by noting that it was "mercifully" only available in Germany.

The Lamborghini Centenario Xbox One S fared slightly better

While the Audi R8 Xbox One S wasn't exactly a crossover hit in Germany, Microsoft wasn't about to let that stop them. The company also produced two other car-themed Xbox One S special editions, a Mustang-themed version for France and a Lamborghini Centenario for Australia.

The Mustang Xbox One S repeated many of the same mistakes that the Audi R8 Xbox One S does, with an over-reliance on replicating the car's form factor in the overall design. However, it takes that even further with an oddly unsettling launch video that shows where a game disc would disappear into the machine's grill and highlighting advanced features like a power button and air holes.

The one saving grace of the ill-advised promotion came from the Australian exclusive Lamborghini Centenario Xbox One S. The designers in charge of this special edition Xbox One S wisely chose to take more notes from the color palette of their inspiration vehicle rather than the specifics of its chassis. The results were impressive, even to The Drive, who kindly said, "It actually looks pretty rad."