Soulja Boy says he sold 5 million consoles in December, which seems like a lot.
The last time you thought of Soulja Boy might have been sometime in the late 2000s when he was still culturally relevant. He’s still doing the whole rapper thing, but since then he’s branched out into merchandising deals with Chinese manufacturers, including one which makes game consoles.
We should probably point out that those game consoles were almost certainly sold illegally. First, they bare a striking resemblance to the Nintendo Game Boy, Wii, Neo Geo, and PlayStation consoles. Second, they’re all essentially emulator boxes that come preloaded with thousands of retro games - games that could not have possibly been legally licensed at the price Soulja Boy was selling them for.
But money is money, and marketing under the brand name Soulja Console meant that there was a certain sense of legitimacy, even if the rest of what Soulja Boy sells on his website are knock-off Beats headphones, Apple Watches, and Apple Airpods.
In a tweet from earlier in December, Soulja defended his decision to start selling these consoles by saying he’d already sold 5 million units. That tweet has since been deleted, and it might have had something to do with the fact that Nintendo got involved and was about to sue the ever-loving pants off him.
Nintendo has been on the litigative warpath ever since they figured out they could make money off their back catalog. Last November, they shut down two huge ROM sites--LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co--and caused many more to shut down after the threat became clear.
Soulja has since taken down his Soulja Consoles from his online store, saying that he was forced to “boss up” when Nintendo threatened legal action.
I had to boss up, I didn’t have a choice. 🤷🏾♂️— Soulja Boy (#SODMG) (@souljaboy) December 29, 2018
But if you want a super illegal emulator console, you can still buy them. Soulja’s consoles were nothing more than marked up emulator boxes widely available on AliExpress, so you can get them even cheaper direct from China. And Nintendo can’t sue AliExpress because they’re the biggest retailer in China.
Soulja, however, is on the hook.