The Queen’s golden Wii may be a remarkable relic, but whoever can afford the eye-watering price tag should probably turn it into a gaming PC. While retro gamers, enthusiasts, and historians alike are currently bidding for the one-of-a-kind classic console over on Goldin Auctions, opting to transform it into a regal rig could perhaps be enough to convince her majesty to accept the gold-plated Nintendo gift.
Before I attempt to defend the idea of a golden Wii gaming PC, it’s probably worth explaining what the so-called “Royal Wii” actually is. The unique Nintendo console variant was commissioned by the publisher THQ back in 2009 to promote Big Family Games – a self-explanatory compilation of short burst shovelware. According to the Goldin listing, the company believed “the most important family in the country” should be graced with a copy, but decided it’d have to be paired with an illustrious device to play it on.
Goldin Auctions says the Palace’s strict gift policies meant the Golden Wii was boomeranged back to THQ, and was eventually scooped up by a collector following the publisher’s 2012 bankruptcy. At the moment, bids for the console sit at $3,250 USD – more than you’d pay for the best gaming PC.
So, what’s all this got to do with the idea of a Golden Wii gaming PC mod? Well, I reckon Queen Elizabeth II is secretly a gamer, and she’d want to boost fps and play only the best Steam games. The only problem is that a monster rig wielding the best graphics card probably wouldn’t fit in with the whole Buckingham Palace aesthetic, which is why a stealth pc build is potentially the perfect solution.
The idea of transforming a retro games console into an unassuming rig is anything but new, as modders have been cramming PC parts into antiquated shells for years. One of our favourite builds is this AMD Ryzen-powered Sega Dreamcast mini gaming PC, but the Nintendo Wii has starred in similar projects as far back as 2009.
In a now thirteen-year-old video dubbed “The world’s first Wii PC mod, a pc in a wii case”, YouTuber 911athome shows off what appears to be a Net PC hiding inside Nintendo’s console. A build like this makes sense, as the low powered hardware is more likely to fit within the original Wii shell, but subsequent modders like FZERO have dared to fit less antiquated parts, like 6GB RAM, a Sandisk SSD, and an i3 CPU equipped with Intel HD graphics.
As you’ve probably guessed, squeezing parts into the shell of a mid-2000s family console isn’t easy. However, builds like the Dreamcast rig prove it’s possible to fit a legit gaming PC into a smaller space, meaning a Royal Wii stealth rig isn’t just a pipedream. The fact that AMD Ryzen 7000 APUs could boast Nvidia RTX 3060 levels of performance means we might even be able to transform the Queen’s shiny console into something capable of ray tracing in the future.
Before any retro lovers get upset, it’s worth mentioning that I lack both the skills and the funds to actualise any golden Wii rig plans. Naturally, I’d also probably rather someone use an ordinary second-hand console instead, as this regal retro relic belongs in a museum.
However, I do think this unique console should boast hardware fit for a Queen dwelling within, rather than standard definition shenanigans. Who knows, perhaps Gabe Newell has already sent the monarch a magnificent gold Steam Deck, pairing the portable powerhouse with a beautiful sense of expensive tackiness.