Bad Console Design Page Revised

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VideoGameCritic
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Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 26th, 2020, 1:51 pm

I thought I'd provide a place for feedback for the revised bad design page, which includes 5 new items:
https://videogamecritic.com/extras/info/baddesign.htm

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Stalvern
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby Stalvern » April 26th, 2020, 2:59 pm

That silicone sleeve for the main Wiimote deserves mention itself. Invariably revolting whenever I was at a friend's house with one.

(Minor note: The PS3 was the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market in 2006, but it wasn't the cheapest HD player; there were HD DVD players a hundred dollars cheaper.)

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 27th, 2020, 7:55 am

Yeah that's a good point. Another annoying thing was the wrist strap, and all those stupid safety precautions you'd have to page through to play a game.

Shiznute
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby Shiznute » April 28th, 2020, 6:04 pm

A little hard on the Dreamcast which I consider one of the best console designs ever but I also am one that thinks it is a criminally underrated system. The one aspect of the design of having no DVD player was a death nail. However, I loved the 4 ports on the system, vmus (especially when you had functionality like hiding the play you were picking in football games), the system as a whole seemed to be very reliable, never noticed the issue with the cord coming out of the wrong end of the controller.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby Retro STrife » April 29th, 2020, 2:46 pm

I scrolled this over and over, wondering "what replaced the Dreamcast lack of DVD issue?" I was about to give up, but then I looked closer and realized the answer -- it just got removed and nothing replaced it. You're missing a #12 on the list, Critic!

(So, still time to add the N64 for using cartridges instead of CDs!)

strat
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby strat » April 29th, 2020, 10:15 pm

I think design flaws are supposed to make the console more inconvenient or unpleasant to use. N64 carts might've been a bad business decision (since it adversely affected the content we got to play on it) but there's nothing ridiculous like, say, removing the battery to change a game in the N-Gage.

ActRaiser
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby ActRaiser » April 30th, 2020, 8:40 am

Hmm, it says there are 25 but only 24 are listed. :)

This was a fun read. You may want to consider the n-gage suggestion as your 25th option. Having to take out the battery in the 1st gen release of it to swap games is probably the worst thing you could do.

VicViper
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby VicViper » June 5th, 2020, 11:29 am

I dunno about the Saturn's internal memory being #5, let alone on the list at all.

It's a case where it's not hurting being there at all, and by experience it can store about as many game saves as a PS1 memory card on its own.
However, contrarily to PS1, the save blocks on Saturn are way more variable; PS1 memory cards have 15 blocks with save games usually taking from 1 to 3 blocks (potentially more with stuff like replays) with some oddballs like Sim City 2000 taking 8 blocks, and Saturn's internal memory has 465 blocks with save games varying wildly between games; Shining The Holy Ark is 65, Sonic R is 6, NiGHTS is 30 (but add an optional 197 if you do the A-Life stuff with the nightopians)...

Technically it's more acceptable for Saturn if a random game tries to eat up a big chunk of the internal memory, they're rare but it can happen. What's less acceptable is, for example on the GameCube, you have the Sims games which can eat up an entire 8 MB memory card on their own (which is the biggest 'official' size on GC), and thus you can have multiple memory cards just dedicated to saving these games...
I'm starting to see a pattern with Sims games.

If the Sega Saturn internal memory hadn't been there, you'd still buy a Saturn memory card anyway, like you would've for PS1/PS2/GameCube/etc.
The only case where it'd be a downside is if your game can only save on the internal memory like the PAL version of Tomb Raider, but even in the case of a dead CR2032 that's easily fixable by then going back to the BIOS and copy the data to a memory card, turning off the system, and then for the next session copying it again to the internal memory.
Sure it takes 20 seconds to do each time, but between that or buying CR2032s, at least it's a choice, and I believe these cases where you can only save on internal memory are pretty rare.

Moreover with Saturn, when you buy a memory card, you very rarely need a second one, the monster has +8000 blocks (and I've heard of a third party one having 16000 blocks). It completely dwarfs the common PS1 memory cards, while the PS1 you needed multiples the moment you bought over 8-10 games.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby Retro STrife » June 5th, 2020, 1:11 pm

@VicViper - I wasn't a Saturn owner back in the day, but got mine sometime around 2002. Memory cards have always been hard to find (even back then) and a bit expensive when you do (I remember them being like $30 or $40 back in the 2000s, and $60 or $70 now). To me, that's an indication that it wasn't a common accessory for Saturn owners. The memory card seems like it was really meant to be an optional accessory, but the reality is that it becomes mandatory because of the poor lifespan of the console battery. If the console battery was just meant as a backup option then I'd agree with you, but Sega treated it as the main save method.

VicViper
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Re: Bad Console Design Page Revised

Postby VicViper » June 6th, 2020, 3:47 am

Retro STrife wrote:@VicViper - I wasn't a Saturn owner back in the day, but got mine sometime around 2002. Memory cards have always been hard to find (even back then) and a bit expensive when you do (I remember them being like $30 or $40 back in the 2000s, and $60 or $70 now). To me, that's an indication that it wasn't a common accessory for Saturn owners. The memory card seems like it was really meant to be an optional accessory, but the reality is that it becomes mandatory because of the poor lifespan of the console battery. If the console battery was just meant as a backup option then I'd agree with you, but Sega treated it as the main save method.

70$?!
You sure you're not talking about the RAM expansion cartridges for improved performance on some fighting games?
Cause I can show you even just on eBay that regular official memory cards can be found for 20-30 bucks, the Japanese ones even hovering between 10-15 bucks (although some of those look unofficial). And I doubt the memory cards were region locked when the cartridge slot allowed for region unlocking:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_Pref ... c&LH_BIN=1

That one "model" of memory card is the one I own, maybe they cost more expensive in the US, but that'd be weird since the Saturn sold like shit in Europe, and it's still available for 25$:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sega-Saturn-Ba ... h&LH_BIN=1

Like sure, there are a few around the 60-70 bucks range... but that goes for all accessories & games, especially in the case of the Saturn which didn't sell all that well to begin with, the memory cards aren't that uncommon. Honestly, I wouldn't think that they're rare just based on the high price of a few.
You can even use Action Replay carts; they double as memory cards, and while these are more expensive & rarer by default, you can still find a bunch of them for 40$ & under.

And if you think 20-30$ is expensive for a Saturn memory card, well, I think they were sold for about 50-60$ at retail in the US (don't remember in Europe, and knowing they are 4 Mbit/512k memory cards VS 1 Mbit/128k on PS1), so their values has halved in general, and in even the worst case scenarios the price didn't rise at all (while rare games get much more expensive than their retail price over the years).

EDIT: ...
I found one that's 80,000 blocks for 33$.
And with the direct screenshots & 100% positive feedback it doesn't even look like a fake, it's even part of a list in the second link below.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MEMORY-CARD-80 ... D&LH_BIN=1

A third party one... of many.

https://segaretro.org/Saturn_third-part ... cartridges

I'm surprised there were that many, I thought only the official ones existed + certain third party action replay carts. I wonder how much that ~40 Mbit/5 MB memory card would've cost in the mid-to-late 90s.


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