Microsoft has produced many, many, many Xbox consoles over the years with custom designs. Some were tie-ins with popular games and sold at retail stores, usually nothing more than a skin or custom faceplate, while others were more detailed with limited availability. Microsoft revealed another custom design on Friday, themed after the Year of the Tiger on the Chinese zodiac, but you won’t be able to buy it.
Microsoft wrote in a blog post, “to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Tiger, Xbox created 15 custom Xbox Series S consoles and Xbox Wireless Controllers with Chinese cartoon artist Bu2ma (Bu-er-ma), inspired by an iconic character from his work.” The console will be given away in a contest on Wechat and Bilibili, starting January 25 at 12:00 p.m. China Standard Time.
The artist, known as Bu2ma and Ma Qianli, is a notable illustrator and manga artist based in Beijing, China. They’ve created plenty of artwork depicting tigers (most of the art is pretty adorable), and if you use the Line messaging app, you might have seen their tiger-themed sticker pack at one point.
The Chinese zodiac assigns an animal and specific attributes to people born in a certain year, repeating on a 12-year cycle. February 1 2022 to Jan 21, 2023 is the Year of the Tiger, while the past 12 months has been the Year of the Ox. Back in 2016, Microsoft designed a special Xbox One for the Year of the Monkey, but that one wasn’t sold or given away.
It’s a shame the Year of the Tiger console design won’t be available at any stores, but it’s hard enough for the company to keep the normal Xbox Series X and S in stock right now.