Thirty years ago, video game controllers were plastic, and they looked like this:
Now, thanks to ColorWare, a company that offers color customizations for a variety of electronic products, a handful of gamers can join the "Call of Duty" frontlines with 24-karat gold controllers in hand:
ColorWare's gold-plated PlayStation 4 controller. (Photo: ColorWare)
The gold-plated controllers, which ran $300 -- not much less than an actual Xbox One or PlayStation 4 system -- were announced on ColorWare's Facebook page Wednesday and had already sold out by Sunday morning. ColorWare produced 25 for each of the two gaming systems. The usual controllers for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems cost $59.99.
ColorWare's gold-plated Xbox One controller. (Photo: ColorWare)
The golden controllers won't give owners the Midas touch in gameplay -- they're functionally no different than any other controllers for the systems. In other words, they're luxury for luxury's sake.
In fairness, that isn't exactly a new idea when it comes to consumer electronics. If you wanted to, you could order a $4,600 Lamborghini phone running an outdated version of Google's Android operating system. And just last week, a well-known video game collector posted a new video showing his massive hoard of Nintendo memorabilia, including 20 different Nintendo 64 systems that are identical apart from color differences on the outside.
The gold-plated controllers are probably a safer investment than a pile of game consoles from 1996, though: The value of the precious metal has started to rebound in recent months.