I’m finally starting to sour on limited-edition PC hardware drops, and it appears as though the PC gaming community is too. It’s a tough statement to quantify, but the recent reveal of the SteelSeries Ghost Edition Apex Pro Mini gaming keyboard might offer some insight and help me to explain my point.
SteelSeries launched the Ghost Edition Apex Pro Mini on Halloween and placed a huge emphasis on the fact that it was limited, the exact number being just 250 units. With specs that should easily make this one of the best mini keyboards on the market, despite the limited availability, it’s only just gone off sale almost one week later, with no comment yet on whether the allocation was sold through or not (I assume it was).
At $229.99, the Ghost Edition Apex Pro Mini wasn’t egregiously priced, and it had the features to justify its premium status. Adjustable HyperMagnetic switches with blazing fast actuation, a response time of 0.9ms – which is 11x better than a traditional mechanical keyboard – and PrismCaps to help the RGB aesthetics really pop, despite the overall lighting being quite muted. All this on top of the debut of the new coiled cable which could soon become a staple from SteelSeries.
The Apex Pro Mini Ghost Edition was officially revealed on October 31 and was available to purchase straight away. Given the popularity and quality of SteelSeries products, you’d assume that 250 units wouldn’t last a day, yet, at the time of writing nearly one week later, the listing has only just been taken down.
While this doesn’t speak to the quality or desirability of this keyboard, perhaps it says more about how the market currently feels about shadow-dropping limited-edition hardware. With a little bit of warning, perhaps people could have planned to purchase one of these stunning keyboards. Some have even expressed on social media, that a random drop like this can’t undo the fact that they’ve recently purchased a brand-new keyboard, leaving them feeling left out.
It’s not just SteelSeries, but this is the most recent example we have to hand. Everyone does it, and so often the online reaction can be ‘OMG this is amazing, neeeeed‘, but how many of these impressions actually turn into purchases? Another example of this is the Logitech G502 X Plus Millenium Falcon edition. The announcement garnered over 430,000 views on Twitter (X), and the number of “need this” responses is hilarious. However, I highly doubt that every person who left such a comment purchased the mouse. It’s a flash-in-the-pan moment of desire that’s quickly forgotten.
We recently covered the Razer Blade 16 Automobili Lamborghini edition, which is a far more nonsensical product and one that is meant to be a talking point and a show of brand collaboration more than anything. It should come as no surprise to know that these are still available for $4,999 if you’re feeling wasteful.
I’m just as guilty when it comes to indulging in limited edition hardware, and have been part of the problem that’s led to this point in time where these products are met with more eye-rolls than intrigue. I allowed myself to go all in when SteelSeries released its limited edition Diablo 3 headset and mouse, at a time when a little bit of hype for a game was enough to have me spending as much money as possible on special gear that, looking back, really wasn’t as unique as I made it out to be in my own head.
The bottom line is that select limited edition products might do well if they really hit home with a specific audience and have the right marketing, but right now, gamers are happy to let these opportunities pass them up, rather than being drawn into a spontaneous purchase. This is especially true with Black Friday creeping up on us, ready to slash the prices of PC gaming products we’ve been eyeing up all year.
Looking to indulge in a new gaming headset, check out our SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless review to see what we thought of this premium audio solution.