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Ashley

Worst console design

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Was reminded of the original DS design and oh boy is it ugly 

Nintendo-DS-Handheld-Console.jpg

But it is of course it's not alone so let's be all playground again and argue about which console has the worst design.

One off promotional designs qualify too.

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NMe8kFXn9Dd5oLeVYEnBRF.jpg

No contest for me really. I thought it might grow on me, but if anything it's even more hideous a year and a half later. The layer of dust doesn't help mind. 

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I did almost add "I'm sure the PS5 will soon come up" but I thought I'd wait. 

Still only seen one briefly in the flesh though (behind the glass at CEX) and I'm always amazed at the sheer size of it. Oh well, only another year or two until the inevitable redesign

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56 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

NMe8kFXn9Dd5oLeVYEnBRF.jpg

No contest for me really. I thought it might grow on me, but if anything it's even more hideous a year and a half later. The layer of dust doesn't help mind. 

Mate, get a duster round your house. It's not healthy to be living surrounded by so much dust.

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I'm going for the Nokia NGage. It's equally bad as a phone as a console. I mean you had to call like this:

ngage.jpg

Still, I remember playing Sonic on it on an event and I wanted it. Then a friend had one and I was quickly over that feeling.

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Yeah sure to use it as a phone the design was awful but in terms of pure design I think it was really interesting. Very of it's time of course but kind of rad in its own way. 

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2 hours ago, Ashley said:

Was reminded of the original DS design and oh boy is it ugly 

Nintendo-DS-Handheld-Console.jpg

But it is of course it's not alone so let's be all playground again and argue about which console has the worst design.

One off promotional designs qualify too.

It really has to be, doesn't it. Looking back it was pretty hideous, especially comparing it to the DS Lite.

The design of home consoles don't really matter as much since you put them out the way and hardly ever look at them, so I'm inclined to agree with you.

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43 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Yeah sure to use it as a phone the design was awful but in terms of pure design I think it was really interesting. Very of it's time of course but kind of rad in its own way. 

I miss those Nokia days with all the various designs. Nowadays it's just who can make the biggest screen in your pocket 

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49 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

It really has to be, doesn't it. Looking back it was pretty hideous, especially comparing it to the DS Lite.

The design of home consoles don't really matter as much since you put them out the way and hardly ever look at them, so I'm inclined to agree with you.

Yeah DS to DS Lite is one hell of a glow up

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Posted (edited)

I know I'm gonna get flack for this, but I don't care.  I absolutely HATE the design of the original fat model PS2...

maxresdefault.jpg

Fucking YUCK!

There's an interesting story behind the system's design though that you might not know though... As it turns out, the PS2's physical shell was not actually designed by Sony... but by Atari! Yes! The PS2's iconic design was actually the shell from a cancelled Atari console called the Atari Falcon, originally due to release in 1993... This piece of hardware was ultimately shelved in favour of the Atari Jaguar, but somewhere along the way, Atari sold the rights to the console's chassis to Sony; and Sony used it almost unchanged for the original model PS2! The Atari Falcon is even referenced directly in the PS2's original patents!

WIZhr4b.png

The resemblence is obvious and intentional

 

So there you have it.  A console so unfathomly ugly that not even Atari wanted it!  I own a lot of gaming hardware and tat, but the original fat model PS2 is the only console I can think of where I actively feel dirty touching the thing! (Thankfully the PS2 slim is a much nicer looking machine; though it's still pretty unpleasant to use; especially on a HDTV).

 

Of course, if we want to get into special edition consoles... oh boy! I can think of some fucking ghastly examples... especially from the Xbox camp...

Edited by Dcubed
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Posted (edited)

Ah, so that's why the original PS2 felt so clunky and fragile. I always thought that console felt needlessly impractical. (Not that I ever owned a PS2, but I never got that clunky feeling from, say, the Sega Saturn, the PS1, or the Dreamcast)

You know one I personally dislike?

41X3B28XR7L._SX385_.jpg

It's just... so square! The edges are rounded, but it doesn't feel like it! And the hinges are kind of fugly, too.

I always thought the original GBA had a very appealing, warm form, and it felt comfy and nice in your hands. The SP feels like it was made by Skynet in a future gone horribly wrong.

Edited by Jonnas
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

I know I'm gonna get flack for this, but I don't care.  I absolutely HATE the design of the original fat model PS2...

maxresdefault.jpg

I love the PS2 with all my heart...but this is exactly where my first thought went too.

If we're talking about the design aesthetics of a console - which, from other posts, I take it we are, rather than the design function - it's just so damn blocky - and, like you say, clunky - that it almost lacks that feeling of being consciously designed in a weird way; it's strictly functional (and hey, I don't know so maybe someone can correct this thought if I'm off base here, but maybe part of that was keeping costs down to further push the cheapest DVD player on the market angle). It's just a block on another block, kind of like a big book awkwardly balanced on a smaller one, with these ugly ridges across the top block of the console, made only uglier by the contrast with the lack of ridges on the bottom block. 

52 minutes ago, Jonnas said:

You know one I personally dislike?

41X3B28XR7L._SX385_.jpg

It's just... so square! The edges are rounded, but it doesn't feel like it! And the hinges are kind of fugly, too.

Man, this is one I was thinking about too. I never owned a GBA in any form growing up, but did borrow friend's from time to time, and growing up, man, what a practical console for a kid: it's so small and compact. 

As an adult, my hands cramp a little just thinking about playing on one, and so time and again that's been the thing to dissuade me from picking one up. 

I always liked to think of the GBA SP being so square as being an inside joke at Nintendo, what with the GameCube being their home console at the time, always seemed a nice little pair. Like "hey, you play your 3D games on your 'Cube, and you (ahem, mostly) play your 2D games on your square GBA!" :laughing:

 

Anyways, I should probably throw my hat into the ring, so I'm going to call out an entire offshoot line of handhelds: the 2DS line. 

249bd8f0fa5ac7907be6227f211e7db4.jpg

You know what that is? A door wedge. A door wedge disguised as a console. Shame on you Nintendo. 

Look, I owned a 2DS from launch, it was the first Nintendo console I bought with my own money and I'm grateful that it was a cheap and accessible means to pick up and play Pokémon X when it launched in October 2013.

But it is cheap, probably the cheapest feeling and most toy-like Nintendo anything I've ever owned (I got the Wii U GamePad complaints after getting one, I do, but that's down to lack of heft more than anything else I feel). It's a tough cookie, but not in the premium way; it's a tough cookie in the same way that kid's toys are tough cookies: you can throw it at a wall, cover it in spaghetti, probably brick someone over the head with it, and it'll still be in one piece, in the same way all of your toys from when you were really young are probably still kicking around somewhere on the face of the planet today. 

And then we have the 2DS XL. 

140949-games-review-review-nintendo-2ds-

Just what we wanted: a clamshell handheld with a neck! 

So take the stuff I said about the 2DS and basically make it look like this:

Myqm.gif

And you know what, to touch on a home console for a moment: the original Xbox is ugly as sin. 

Xbox.jpg

It just looks so damn tacky, like a fake console made as a prop for a film.

I remember the first time I saw this console - which I think I've seen once in my entire life  in-person - at a friend's house (squarely middle class, dad invested in stocks, you know the type) and I can't have been more than 5 years old, and I thought it was ugly as sin then...and I'll double down nearly 20 years later and day it looks ugly as sin now, too. 

What the hell was in the water of the console designers that generation?! 

Edited by Julius
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Posted (edited)

Oddly enough, I actually don't mind the OG Xbox design all that much in person.  It actually manages to look better in person than in the official renders; especially the Crystal variant.  You could absolutely kill a small child with its sheer bulk & weight, but it's not that bad to look at and use; certainly a damn sight better than the PS2!

The disc tray is the cheapest and nastiest thing though; second only to the OG PS2 for how ridiculously flimsy the drive feels to use and for how bloody loud it is... Good thing you can install the games onto the HDD via homebrew though!

Speaking of boxy though... How about the US SNES?

_600.jpg

A master class in how to take something beautiful and make it ugly instead

Edited by Dcubed
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This is pretty bad design, although the console is unlikely to be actually released and will probably bankrupt the company:

Intellivision-Amico-Galaxy-Purple-Limite

For real consoles, the Sega Mega Drive CD 32x is a monstrosity:

OIP.fARqfXaM2-_8FnfDwdVBlgHaGv?pid=ImgDe

 

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Posted (edited)

I think AVGN said it best when the Sega Mega Drive CD 32x combo looks like a life support machine...

I think what's even more insane is just how the 32x actually works... The Mega Drive was never actually built to natively support expansion hardware like the SNES (or even the NES) was... indeed, the "expansion port" that the Mega CD uses is actually nothing but a second cartridge slot (and the Mega CD is just seen by the MD as a giant bank-switched cartridge).  So how the hell do they manage to get the MD and 32x hardware to talk to each other?

The answer is... they don't.  At all.

Instead, the 32x includes a Genlocker chip.  What this does is that it superimposes the 32x video on top of the MD video, yes, just like a piece of video editing software.  You can technically even unplug the 32x's video sync cable and you can continue to play the game with the 32x video layer removed!  And the 32x hardware itself? It's literally just a couple of SH2 CPUs, that's it.  No support for tile mapped graphics or background scrolling whatsoever, no in-built GPU/VDP and everything has to be written in software; which is why the 32x is mostly incapable of smooth 60FPS background scrolling without the MD being tagged to handle that part of the visuals.  It's an incredibly inefficient and poorly designed piece of shit!

Edited by Dcubed

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There aren't many nice looking consoles to be honest. Most of the early ones were pretty boxy and function over form. 

220px-NES-Console-Set.jpg

The NES is just a grey box.

300px-Atari-2600-Wood-4Sw-Set.png

The Atari looks like a car dashboard from the 70s.

250px-Sega-Mega-Drive-JP-Mk1-Console-Set

The Mega Drive was just a black slab of plastic.

 

I don't think they really gave a thought to what they looked like until recently.

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22 minutes ago, bob said:

There aren't many nice looking consoles to be honest. Most of the early ones were pretty boxy and function over form. 

220px-NES-Console-Set.jpg

The NES is just a grey box.

300px-Atari-2600-Wood-4Sw-Set.png

The Atari looks like a car dashboard from the 70s.

250px-Sega-Mega-Drive-JP-Mk1-Console-Set

The Mega Drive was just a black slab of plastic.

 

I don't think they really gave a thought to what they looked like until recently.

In fairness these all look of the time they were made, but as you say I don't think much consideration was given to design at that point anyway. 

Plus we all know anything from the 80s is ugly

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bob said:

There aren't many nice looking consoles to be honest. Most of the early ones were pretty boxy and function over form. 

220px-NES-Console-Set.jpg

The NES is just a grey box.

The NES was designed to look like a VCR style machine instead of a contemporary 70s/early 80s game console (in order to avoid being associated with the past consoles that caused the US video game crash)... which it absolutely succeeded at doing.

Quote

300px-Atari-2600-Wood-4Sw-Set.png

The Atari looks like a car dashboard from the 70s.

Perfectly contemporary for the time; the system DID launch in 1977 after all!  Wood panelling was the in-thing in the 1970s.

Quote

250px-Sega-Mega-Drive-JP-Mk1-Console-Set

The Mega Drive was just a black slab of plastic.

 

I don't think they really gave a thought to what they looked like until recently.

The Mega Drive was a DJ Turntable, complete with headphone jack and volume slider.  It looked THE TITS in the late 1980s when it originally launched.

These are all terrible examples! They're all excellent designs that all succeed at what they set out to do.

Edited by Dcubed
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2 hours ago, Dcubed said:

The NES was designed to look like a VCR style machine instead of a contemporary 70s/early 80s game console (in order to avoid being associated with the past consoles that caused the US video game crash)... which it absolutely succeeded at doing.

Speaking of designing a console to look like a VCR style machine:

 

xbox-one-console.jpg

 

Although I don't quote understand trying to mimic 90s VCRs in 2013.

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Speaking of designing a console to look like a VCR style machine:
 
xbox-one-console.jpg
 
Although I don't quote understand trying to mimic 90s VCRs in 2013.

You want a good console design? We have a console for those kinds of people, it's called the Xbox 360.
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13 minutes ago, Sheikah said:


You want a good console design? We have a console for those kinds of people, it's called the Xbox 360.

The only console whose most well known design feature is because of its failure rate.

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5 hours ago, Dcubed said:

The NES was designed to look like a VCR style machine

I mean, it was designed to function like one (its cartridges are inserted horizontally for that reason, I wager), but I'm not sure if it actually looks the part. The VCR machines I remember of the time were almost all black, while the NES has a much softer colour scheme.

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1 hour ago, Jonnas said:

I mean, it was designed to function like one (its cartridges are inserted horizontally for that reason, I wager), but I'm not sure if it actually looks the part. The VCR machines I remember of the time were almost all black, while the NES has a much softer colour scheme.

In part sharing because of the colour but mostly because of how damn 80s that is

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Well, you can colour (hardy har) me surprised. Every device of the time I've ever seen was just black.

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46 minutes ago, Ashley said:

In part sharing because of the colour but mostly because of how damn 80s that is

On the other hand, I assumed all 80's VCR's were a shade of gray.

Granted, my only reference is the intro to The Goldbergs.

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