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This Xbox Looks Like SpongeBob SquarePants, and Microsoft's Only Making a Few

Who lives in a game console under the sea?

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
SpongeBob Square Pants Xbox console and controller

Eternally happy SpongeBob SquarePants is ready to help you play Xbox games. BYO Krabby Patties.


Arrrrr you ready, kids? Microsoft's new design for its Xbox Series X is filled with nautical nonsense, and it'll cost a bunch of clams. On Monday, the company announced its next themed Xbox Series X will be based on SpongeBob SquarePants. The console swaps its typically gray and green monolithic design for yellow, recreating the design of the hit children's cartoon character. The console is as silly as the show, designed with SpongeBob's trademark smile and Krusty Krab uniform. 

It comes with a controller plastered with a collage of show characters, including Squidward and Mr. Krabs. The bundle also includes a free download of the well-received 2023 fighting game Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2, in which SpongeBob is a title character.

The bundle will cost a pricey $700, well above the console's typical $450 price tag (that's without the game), and will only be available in the US through Best Buy's mobile app, starting March 7. Microsoft says there will be a limited supply of the bundle, and Best Buy expects the product to sell out quickly.

The cartoony console promotes Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2, which was released late last year for Xbox, PC, Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's Switch. But it's also a way for Microsoft to grab attention for its Xbox in the typically calmer sales months between the new year and the summer, when companies begin marketing their big upcoming releases for the fall.

While some people might scoff at Microsoft's premium price for a SpongeBob-designed Xbox that doesn't even make flute sounds through its nose, this is a popular strategy among console superfans. Microsoft regularly sells controllers with color schemes inspired by various games, including a slightly less smiley SpongeBob for the first Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl game in 2021

And Microsoft has regularly sold wraps and special edition versions of its console, with some made to look like they came out of the game worlds of Starfield. Sony's gotten in on this trend too, selling a Spider-Man 2 variant of its PlayStation 5 last year, as well as a LeBron James edition. And Nintendo made special Switch console designs for its hit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, Tears of the Kingdom.

Microsoft doesn't typically announce limited-edition Xboxes too far ahead of release, but it's likely this won't be the last one. Sony recently told investors last month that its PlayStation 5, which was released in 2020 to compete against the Xbox Series X, is entering the "latter stage of its life cycle," during which the company plans to focus more on profitability and sales.