tapedeck

Do console designs matter to you? (Is the N64 black, grey or charcoal?)

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After seeing those X-Ray pics of consoles online I was drawn to the idea about how consoles look.

 

N64.PNG

 

Let me just get this out of the way. I love how slick the N64 looked. The design was all kinds of awesome and it looked great in black. (as well as in those apple (late 90's) see through colours. I remember seeing the console and thinking that the way it looked actually made me want to own it just as much as Mario64 did. (Just don't mention the Pikachu model!)

 

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I loved my NES and SNES and I also loved the designs of them. The NES, with it's front-loading bay was a design of the times looking and acting like a mini VHS player and, as a kid, that front loading bay was awesome. The simple design and liberal use of red/black/grey has stood the test of time and even makes Atari/Spectrums/Amigas/Commodore's look old and cheap in comparison. I guess the NES is like a good toy that always looks retro-cool.

 

The SNES seemed like a step up in the 90's and with it's curves, more mature in design. I loved the SNES design (well, the PAL/JP SNES) and even though (thinking back) the Power and eject buttons felt tacky, they were great at the time (I loved the reset button for some reason.) The cart-bay plastic protector was also awesome and was repeated on the uber cool N64. Which (in design terms) was basically a SNES which had been flattened somewhat.

 

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In my opinion it's a shame that we've seen most console designs look like a brick (with perhaps the cube/Wii being the ultimate brick designs ever seen. Although the Wii does have one diagonal corner and the GC had that handle!) I actually remember the GC unveil and upon seeing it thought "MAJOR step backwards from the N64."

Surely our consoles can look a little slicker, where have the curves gone!?

The designs from MS/SONY and SEGA have also primarily fitted into the 'brick' paradigm too. But are/were these good designs? I personally think my PS3 is ugly and the 360 also looks a bit ugly too. Yet they are perhaps more 'interesting' than the Wii.

 

The PS2/3 360 (and Wii) have offered two different ways to place the console which is also a nice feature as vertical placement sometimes looks better than horizontal. I felt that this PS2 design was a great paradigm shift for console design - and such a simple concept too.

 

I guess ever since the NES we've seen brick-like shapes as the norm in a way to mimic VHS/DVD players and to fit into the living room. Was the N64 the bravest design for a Nintendo home console? (can we even ignore the Virtual Boy as a portable?)

Or would you say that other consoles from SEGA/MS and SONY were/are braver designs?

 

multicolourwii.jpg

 

With all this talk of 'bricks' I must say I'm a huge fan of the Wii design but purely because the simplicity and size of the system is a saving grace at times. It's easy to pack up and take on the road and, as always with Nintendo's consoles, it's solidly built. Unfortunately, I'd have loved to have seen more colours available by now. I love my consoles in black and the choice would have been nice.

 

Do console designs matter to you? And do you have a favourite and why?

Of course non of this matters when you think solely about the games. But I feel it could make for an interesting topical debate.

 

 

Thoughts as ever... : peace:

Edited by tapedeck

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Love the way the N64 looks, the Cube looked good in real life too.

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Heck no, I bought a purple Gamecube after all!

 

Gamecube%2520CONSOLE.jpg

 

But obviously I would have preffered the GC to have been styled like the GC Panasonic Q, but hey, in the end it's the games that count!

 

GCBling.jpg

 

I do love the N64 and especially it's controllers!

 

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Edited by Retro_Link

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I love the Wii designs, but sometimes I wish it wasn't so popular so they'd be forced to bring out those extra colours they promised. I'd probably buy a new colour, but I'd be more interested in different coloured wiimotes.

 

As for general design. To be honest I don't really care, though it obviously helps if it is nicely designed. The 360 is one of the worst looking consoles I've ever seen, it makes the Jaguar look sleek. The PS3 is classy, but a little too big for my liking.

 

Smaller the better for me though.

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But obviously I would have preffered the GC to have been styled like the GC Panasonic Q

 

panasonic-q.jpg

 

Yeah, I remember being really peeved it wasn't coming to our shores. I like it's 'feet' - looks classy. The colour is great and the reader at the top looks good. But there is waaay too much going on. The four controller ports look OK but all the AV options should have either been on the side or hidden.

 

We are at an age now where simplicity is a key design choice as seen with the iPod/Wii - two HUGE electrical appliances which are minimalistic. The wii has the traditional 3 Nintendo buttons seen since the SNES (Power, Eject, Reset) and has the Cube ports hidden. Minimal to the extreme.

 

Sad to think that this is the only Nintendo console to play DVD's/CD's and it's 2009. :angry:

Edited by tapedeck

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My first gamecube was the orange one from Japan (couldn't wait for the UK launch). Still looks awesome now!

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Actually, looking at pictures, whilst the Panasonic Q seemingly looked great at the time, I'm not sure it's aged very well, or at leats it's not as nice as I remember it.

 

Dreamcast was pretty nice...

 

imgsega%20dreamcast1.jpg

 

With it's nice orange light at the front.

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I do love the N64 and especially it's controllers!

 

rk4ff7.jpg

 

Yeah, I still love the N64 controllers. The way you hold them, it's .... intimate?

It's like your strapping yourself in for the ride the way your hands are placed so closely together.

Interestingly I was playing WaveRace64 a few weeks ago and you can use Z as your accelerator - with this one-handed setup of your thumb on the analogue and your forefinger on Z, it's like holding the ultimate Wii controler.

 

The N64 controller alienated a lot of people though. For some reason a lot of people I knew couldn't grasp the idea of putting one hand on the middle prong and held it like a PS1 controller stretching their thumb over to use the analogue. *dolts*

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The N64 controller alienated a lot of people though. For some reason a lot of people I knew couldn't grasp the idea of putting one hand on the middle prong and held it like a PS1 controller stretching their thumb over to use the analogue. *dolts*

 

Haha, I do that for supreme control in Duke Nukem. :grin:

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Actually yeah the middle handle of the N64 pad is very nunchuck like when you look at it from that angle.

 

Don't think I knew anyone who had problems holding it, *it's pretty simple!*

But I actually can't think of a time when I EVER held the left hand prong!... either left and middle, or left and right!

 

What was the d-pad setup ever used for?... did Turok and a couple of FPS use it?

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What was the d-pad setup ever used for?... did Turok and a couple of FPS use it?

 

Duke uses it for cycling through items/ weapons depending on your control set up. The main use of the d-pad I can think of is for Killer Instinct- I always used the d-pad rather than the joystick. :heh:

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The main use of the d-pad I can think of is for Killer Instinct- I always used the d-pad rather than the joystick. :heh:

 

And it would RIP your thumb to shreds lol.

 

The Dreamcast looked great at the time. The main thing I remember was how small it was in relation to its power. And the 4 controller ports on the front. C'est MAGIC!

 

Still, the Dreamcast controllers, although housing the VMU, triggers and a nice analogue looked awful imo.

Another point, I really like Nintendo's custom controller ports. They are always solid and nicely designed. The SNES ones were chunky and the N64's round ports were well designed. SONY's are OK too. SEGA's were AWFUL. I don't like the USB ports on the X-Box controllers but considering we're in a wireless age now, they will probably be a thing of the past.

 

 

I guess when it comes to consoles size does matter.

Edited by tapedeck

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At the time, the N64 was something else. Sure the Jaguar was also in black, but it didn't have the sleek look of Nintendo's effort. I still think they should have gone with black as the standard control colour though. When it was still the Ultra 64, they were and all the buttons were grey - I think it complimented the console better. And as for the D-Pads, they needed to be broke in to be of proper use - I could only play Killer Instinct with one of my pads, not the rest.

 

I'm quite partial to the GC from a design point. And as for the colour, it had to be purple - when I went to collect mine from the shop, the guy picked up a black one and I told him no chance. The Panasonic Q on the other hand looks like a Hi-Fi and that's not a good thing.

 

As for the Wii, I like the form factor and how the additional slots are all covered - plus white is a great colour.

 

And if the Wii is a brick, the the PS3 and Xbox are breeze blocks (but with weight).

 

As for non Nintendo consoles, the only ones I though looked good were two of SEGAs entries - the Mega Drive II and the DC. Both similar in design, now I'm thinking about it, and quite small.

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I think in terms of designs, as games consoles start to earn their place in the living room, they've got to adapt and fall into the 'box under the tv' look, which isn't attractive.

 

We're forgetting the designs of handhelds- for which i give PSP a right royal courtsy. While its certainly based off the GBA look, the PSP is a sleek piece of kit, for sure.

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We're forgetting the designs of handhelds- for which i give PSP a right royal courtsy. While its certainly based off the GBA look, the PSP is a sleek piece of kit, for sure.

 

There is one thing in my mind that stops the PSP looking anywhere near good and renders it somewhat ugly to my eyes. It's all the writing and symbols placed all over the front of the thing. There's not much surface space on the device to begin with so filling what little you have with text isn't going to help - it looks cluttered.

 

As far as handhelds go I think the best designs are the GBA SP and the DSL. I've never actually held an SP so they might be terrible to use, but they sure looked good.

Edited by Captain Falcon

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I don't like the look of the psp either, the ds lite is my favourite handheld in terms of aesthetic appeal.

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SP's are so comfortable. Never held a Micro because I never thought the GBA design needed to get any smaller. I still play all my GB games on the SP; unparalleled convinience, plus the it just feels weird to play them on the DS.

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The mirco is very good actually, I prefer to play my GBA games on that than anything else.

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It's an interesting subject, and something I probably only think about in the run up to a consoles launch. They always look so much better when you don't own them yet! Once I get them home I usually like to look at them a lot as they're nice and new, after a while though they're just under the TV in the lounge and I never much think about them after that.

 

Of the current lot I think the Wii is my favourite due to it's sheer simplicity, with the 360 coming last (redesign soon please). Can't say I've ever really not liked one though, they all look good to me.

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I've got an indigo cube and the other day when my Wii broke, I decided to set it up again while waiting for the repairs. I looked at the console for a few minutes before setting it up, and TBH, it really was a great looking console. I just don't know what it was about it, but I just really loved the design of it, the Indigo one especially. The Jet (Black) and Platinum models for some reason just look a little cheap to me. The design isn't all that important to me though, although, I wouldn't want my console to look like an 80s computer.

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Do console designs matter to you?

 

Ultimately, no, because:

 

Of course non of this matters when you think solely about the games.

 

 

 

But, yes, it does "matter" a bit. It's not a system seller or system breaker for me, games are, but I do like things that look good to me, as does everyone.

 

Nintendo's consoles have always looked good, yes, even the GC. The GC only looks bad in purple or those other drunken colours. I have the grey/platinum one and it looks great. The black one also looks great. A cube shape for a console might be questionable design, but it does not look bad.

 

Having said that all Nintendo consoles have looked good till now, I have to exclude the american SNES from that group. The american SNES just might be the ONLY console ever to look worse than the PS3. It looks like a lame Lego montage by some 5 year old.

 

snes_us_1.jpg

 

The 360 looks good lying flat, but not vertically. Lying flat, those inward curves make it look a slicker and feel great when you dust it or pick it up.

 

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Shit, it's hard to find pics of it horizontally!

 

The PS3 just looks like a fat slob, real nasty. Not a chance in hell to make it look good in any position.

 

The Dreamcast was sweet, I agree. Really cool design. It was Nintendo inspired, obviously. :grin: Looks like a mix between the SNES and the N64.

 

 

Ultimately, it doesn't matter, you don't play looking at it, but every product wants to have a good image or rather should want (PS3...?).

Edited by ...

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boy did I hate the n64 controller.. I NEVER got used to them and found the gamecbe controller to be a vast improvement.

 

The american snes is oh so ugly.. One of thge few occasions where we had it better than them.

 

The panasonic Q wouldn't have worked over here. Nintendo made the wise choice to just give up on the gamecube and concentrate on a new console.

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Seeing as how I grew up with the American SNES, I prefer it. It also seems more in keeping with the design of the NES, a large block of plastic used for games. I can also tell you that they were nearly indestructible, but that probably transcends regional designs.

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TBH, I also like the American Snes a bit better. But I'm probably biased because I live in an NTSC region.

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