Best and Worst Console Designs

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VideoGameCritic
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Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 2nd, 2018, 5:03 pm

The other day I was marveling at what a non-intuitive console the PS4 is, which is when I got the idea for a pair of new specials:

Top 10 Best Designed Consoles and Top 10 Worst Designed consoles.

Maybe you guys can help me with this!

I think of design as three basic factors:
- ergonomics/ease of use
- attractiveness
- controller
if there are other factors I should consider let me know.

I'll begin with the PS4, for the "worst" side. You can't make out the skinny button labels and even then they have some kind of time-pressure system which makes them do different things depending on how long you hold them. The first time I unpacked this console I couldn't even tell where to put the disc! It's like it was designed to confuse the user.

The slanted design doesn't look that great and serves no practical purpose. And then you have the controller dominated by a useless touch pad, and when you set it down on the couch the shoulder buttons get depressed. So much for using it as a remote. And they put the light in the back where you can't see it - dumb!

And please submit your candidates and reasons!

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Stalvern
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby Stalvern » May 2nd, 2018, 5:44 pm

Worst:

Image

Best:

Image

Coolest:

Image

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 2nd, 2018, 6:09 pm

Interesting! Anybody else think a "coolest" category is a good idea?

Also, should we a separate best/worst for the controllers?

pacman000
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby pacman000 » May 2nd, 2018, 6:40 pm

NES for worst.

The zero insertion force cart slot put extra wear & tear on the system, resulting in a high failure rate.

mbd36
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby mbd36 » May 2nd, 2018, 7:42 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:The other day I was marveling at what a non-intuitive console the PS4 is, which is when I got the idea for a pair of new specials:

Top 10 Best Designed Consoles and Top 10 Worst Designed consoles.

Maybe you guys can help me with this!

I think of design as three basic factors:
- ergonomics/ease of use
- attractiveness
- controller
if there are other factors I should consider let me know.

I'll begin with the PS4, for the "worst" side. You can't make out the skinny button labels and even then they have some kind of time-pressure system which makes them do different things depending on how long you hold them. The first time I unpacked this console I couldn't even tell where to put the disc! It's like it was designed to confuse the user.

The slanted design doesn't look that great and serves no practical purpose. And then you have the controller dominated by a useless touch pad, and when you set it down on the couch the shoulder buttons get depressed. So much for using it as a remote. And they put the light in the back where you can't see it - dumb!

And please submit your candidates and reasons!


Worst: RCA Studio II. The original NES toaster gets honorable mention for being the best console with the worst design in terms of reliability.

Best: Sega Genesis model 1, maybe.

BTW, the DualShock 4 is PC compatible and it's so much better than the crap that is actually designed for PC. I personally like it a lot.

pacman000
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby pacman000 » May 2nd, 2018, 9:07 pm

My goodness, the Studio II is ugly isn't it? It doesn't even look 70's-ish; it looks like a 50's mascara case. I can understand the keypads; joysticks weren't standard yet, & RCA wanted it to be an educational system, but the combination power supply RF out was a bad idea.

For coolest system I recommend the Coleco Telestar Arcade; for best I recommend the Casio PV-1000. The Telstar Arcade looks like 3 arcade controls you can hook up to your TV; the PV-1000's just haunted me for years. :)

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Stalvern
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby Stalvern » May 2nd, 2018, 10:03 pm

Oh, forgot to post reasons!

There's nothing that I can say about the Studio II that a picture of it doesn't already say better.

The slim PS2 gets my vote for best because it's both better-looking and easier to use than the original PS2 while taking up barely more space than a video tape. It's just a masterful piece of design on every level. The excellent DualShock 2 controller is icing on the cake.

The Vectrex is the coolest because there's nothing else even close to being like it. The vector graphics (and I know that this thread's about aesthetics and ergonomics, not the actual hardware, but those graphics are absolutely an aesthetic factor), the self-contained monitor, the overlay sheets, that awesome little brick of a controller with its little phone cord - everything about it makes it uniquely the Vectrex, and it all kicks ass.

VideoGameCritic wrote:Also, should we a separate best/worst for the controllers?

I'm up for it.

Worst:

Image

Turned what was already a gimmick of limited utility into a literal surveillance device that just happened to be mandatory for using the system. I don't know and don't particularly care if it's still that awful in 2018, but the version that launched gets my vote hands dow... I mean, uh, unquestionably.

Best:

Image

Perfect.

Coolest:

Image

I have handled one of these. They are exactly as nifty as the review here makes them out to be. What a fantastically creative design.

Voor
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby Voor » May 3rd, 2018, 7:29 am

Well the critic has reviewed these consoles (and their controllers), so he has data to make a best and worst list pretty easily.

One of my favorite things is the eject button on the SNES. Don’t think I used it once. Lol.

I think the Wii, with its minimal design, backward compatibility, and built in GameCube controller ports is pretty cool.

NES controller is my favorite since I’m impressed with the mileage game designers gotnout od those two buttons. SNES is 2nd.

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scotland
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby scotland » May 3rd, 2018, 10:06 am

pacman000 wrote:For coolest system I recommend the Coleco Telestar Arcade; for best I recommend the Casio PV-1000. The Telstar Arcade looks like 3 arcade controls you can hook up to your TV; the PV-1000's just haunted me for years. :)


Great choices!

Dave isn't much for first generation consoles, but many played with a wide spectrum of 1970s headache inducing colors. Not picking on Nintendo here, as it was hardly alone (and 1970s consumer electronics were not shy about colors)

Image

On the plus side of First Generation, how about Coleco Telstar Combat!

Image

I dislike the Intellivision and Colecovision way of trying to house their controllers on board with those curly cords, especially when the controllers themselves are pretty inelegant to begin with. The Colecovision doubles down on ugly with those expansion modules.

While I love the Sega Genesis Model 1, oddly enough, when you start attaching CD and 32x add-ons, plus the cables, it goes from being sleek to looking like Jed Clampetts truck on the Beverly Hillbillies.

For sleek elegance, I also like the Turbografx-16. How far it had come from something like the giant Atari 5200!

I'm also fond of the Sega Master System. I prefer its look far more than the VCRish NES toaster.

pacman000
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Re: Best and Worst Console Designs

Postby pacman000 » May 3rd, 2018, 1:02 pm

scotland wrote:Dave isn't much for first generation consoles, but many played with a wide spectrum of 1970s headache inducing colors. Not picking on Nintendo here, as it was hardly alone (and 1970s consumer electronics were not shy about colors)

Image

On the plus side of First Generation, how about Coleco Telstar Combat!

Image

I dislike the Intellivision and Colecovision way of trying to house their controllers on board with those curly cords, especially when the controllers themselves are pretty inelegant to begin with. The Colecovision doubles down on ugly with those expansion modules.


I actually like 60's/70's colorful electronics, & Coleco/INTV's controller storage slots. Not sure how well those slots work in person; I've never had an Intellivision or a Colecovision. The combat game is really cool tho.


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