Microsoft Giving Away A Cool Xbox That Doesn’t Actually Work


An image shows a blue and gold Xbox console that doesn't actually work.

Image: Xbox / Square Enix / Kotaku

A new Xbox giveaway is happening right now and you can win a cool-looking Final Fantasy-themed Xbox Series X console. It looks awesome! It also, uh, apparently doesn’t actually work.

After its impending arrival on Xbox was announced in 2023, the popular MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV finally became playable—about a decade after launch—on Xbox consoles in February via an open beta. Sure, you’ll have to pay for both an FF14 subscription and a Game Pass membership to play, but at least Xbox owners will finally get a chance to experience the critically acclaimed online RPG. And to celebrate the big arrival, Microsoft is giving away an FF14-themed Xbox console, complete with crystals and a slick blue paint job. However, don’t try to play FF14 on this console, as it’s just an “art piece.”

On March 14, Xbox posted on Twitter (or X or whatever) that it was holding a short sweepstakes contest and the grand prize was a neat-looking Xbox Series X console. A lot of people shared the tweet and replied with all the appropriate gifs and images one would expect from folks who were excited about something. But what most of these people probably didn’t realize is that the cool Xbox isn’t functional at all. It’s not their fault. This fact isn’t explained in the contest announcement tweet, nor in any follow-up posts from Xbox. Instead, it’s buried in the rules for the sweepstakes.

The relevant text can be found within the “MICROSOFT ‘FINAL FANTASY XIV’ PROMOTION OFFICIAL RULES” in section 4, sub-section a, line 1 which explains what you actually win if you are randomly picked. Here’s the important bit:

“One (1) Grand Prize: One (1) custom-designed ‘Final Fantasy XIV’ Xbox Series X console bundle (NON-FUNCTIONAL, TO BE USED AS AN ART PIECE)”

Now, don’t worry, Microsoft isn’t pulling a fast one and giving you a dead Xbox and a Game Pass membership and telling you to buy a console to actually use it. That same section of the rules explains that you’ll get a second, working Xbox, too. And a copy of FF14’s collector’s edition. Still, I wonder how many people are entering this contest and not realizing that the cool Xbox being used to promote it is nothing but a fancy-looking “art piece.”

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By asm3a