Once a meme that delighted the internet, the Xbox Series X-shaped mini fridge is becoming a reality. At the end of its E3 2021 showcase on Sunday, Microsoft announced that it would be selling “the world’s most powerful mini fridge” this upcoming holiday season.
The fridge meme dates back to the unveiling of the Xbox Series X in December 2019. When standing in a vertical position, the console is tall and has a rectangular shape. Plus, its disk drive could be mistaken for a fridge door handle. This semblance was not lost to the internet, and thus, the Xbox Series X fridge memes were born. Microsoft itself leaned into the meme, publishing a photo of the console with a fridge for scale last year and even making a life-size Xbox Series X fridge to give away.
In its reveal trailer for the Xbox mini fridge, the product’s official name, we can see that the fridge has the Xbox logo in a corner on the outside and is Xbox green on the inside. Powered by “Xbox Velocity Cooling Architecture,” the fridge is indeed mini and appears to be able to hold about 10 cans of your beverage of choice. The price, however, is still unknown.
“Yes, this is really happening,” Xbox said in the trailer.
But how did we get from laughs and life-size fridge stunts to the production of actual Xbox mini fridges? Although it may seem like another joke, we owe the fridges to a Twitter contest to crown the best brand on the social media platform, known as the “Best of Tweets Brand Bracket,” earlier this year. As told by the Verge, both Xbox and Skittles were facing off in the final stage of the contest, and needed to convince users to vote for them in a Twitter poll.
To help push Xbox ahead in the race, Aaron Greenberg, general manager of Xbox Games Marketing at Microsoft, promised that if users helped Xbox win, the company would put real Xbox Series X mini fridges into production this year.
“Yep, you read that right. Not an April Fools joke. Not clickbait,” Greenberg said in tweet in April.
Skittles, for its part, also put skin in the game and said it promised to bring back lime flavored skittles if users voted for it in the showdown.
“Help us win this and we’ll BRING BACK LIME SKITTLES! Yup, you read that right. Not an April Fools joke. Not clickbait,” Skittles tweeted.
Considering Microsoft’s Xbox mini fridge announcement, you already know how this contest ended. It was close though. Out of 341,731 votes cast, 50.5% were for Xbox and 49.5% were for Skittles. At the time, Greenberg said Microsoft would move forward with its promise to make the mini fridges. He stated that the first one would be filled with games and given to Skittles.
All in all, competition makes brands do and promise crazy things. But hey, if these contests have the power to turn beloved memes into reality and bring skittles back from the dead, please, make them compete more. (In case you were wondering, Skittles caved and brought back lime skittles for a limited time anyway).