For most new drivers coming up now, their first time driving a Porsche will be virtually, controller in-hand, in a video game. So, the fact Porsche just unveiled six limited-edition Xbox Series X consoles — each with a matching controller — is a bit of a full-circle moment for those of us who still remember racing pixelated 911s in Need for Speed, Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport.
You won’t find the six Porsche-themed Xbox consoles in stores. (If you thought the Series X was hard to get when it first launched in 2020, just wait.) Over the next four months, these Porsche consoles can only be won by fans who enter a sweepstakes. Each consoles will be unveiled at a different major auto show or gaming event throughout the summer, so keep an eye on Porsche’s social channels for details: Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch.
Standing in stark contrast to the usual all-business black Xbox Series X, the six limited-edition Porsche consoles are full of colour. They were built to celebrate the German brand’s 75th anniversary, and so each one is inspired by a classic Porsche racecar. Choosing liveries from the 300,000 Porsche racecars that have driven to victory over the years can’t have been easy, but the company narrowed it down to these six:
- Porsche 911 GT1 won 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998.
- Porsche Hippie was a race car unlike any other. It was adorned in deep blue and bright green “hippie” colors.
- Porsche Pink Pig was a pink race car. Pink? Yes. Covered in butcher-style cuts. It’s a race livery that gained cult status.
- Porsche Salzburg gave Porsche its very first overall win at Le Mans.
- Porsche Racing Edition is often referred to as the white whale (or Moby Dick) because of its huge tail.
- Porsche 75th is the current race livery on the 963.
Not that anyone asked, but our pick would be the “Hippie” console, based on the psychedelic purple-and-green Porsche 917 long tail that took second place at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1970. (The Hippie livery reportedly took 1,500 spray cans to paint — on the car, that is, not the console.)
“Many people who end up being our most dedicated fans had their first encounter with Porsche through gaming,” says Robert Ader, vice president of global marketing at Porsche. “That’s why it plays a key role for us to stay relevant not just among current fans but among new generations.”
The German automaker knows better than most the value of having a strong brand that pulls at customers’ hearts, not just their heads. (See also: the Porsche Museum, and the upcoming Porsche Experience Centre in Toronto.) Why do you think Porsche sports cars can command such high prices and rank consistently as one of the most profitable car companies in existence? It’s not all down to excellent products, although that helps; no, the brand is strong with this one.
From a marketing standpoint, the benefit of video games is that they reach the next-generation of potential fans, as Ader says. Get ‘em while they’re young. Beginning with the first ever Forza Motorsport game in 2005, would-be racers could get behind the wheel of their favourite Porsche machinery. The Forza series, developed by Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios, has been going from strength to strength since then, not unlike Porsche.
The latest Forza Horizon 5 game features plenty of Porsche vehicles, and you can be sure the upcoming Forza Motorsport — the first developed for next-gen consoles, set to be released later this year — will include even more Porsche models, new and old. Cars unofficially confirmed for the new game include: 2021 Porsche 911 GT3, Mission R, Taycan Turbo S, 2019 911 GT3 RS, 2018 911 GT2 RS, 2017 #2 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid, 2017 #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR, 2015 #91 Porsche Team Manthey 991 RSR, 2014 918 Spyder, 1987 #17 Porsche AG 962C and 1970 #3 917 LH. It’s a list that should please any diehard Porschephiles and that’s only the start.
Sadly, in the fine print, Porsche confirms the sweepstakes for this limited-edition Xbox can only be entered by fans in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. Maybe now would be a good time to hit up an old friend stateside?