Console Design Blunders

General and high profile video game topics.
ASalvaro
Posts: 121
Joined: May 24th, 2019, 11:51 pm

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby ASalvaro » February 10th, 2020, 1:23 pm

when i bought my Atari 5200 in 83 i didn't mind the controllers at all...i liked the pause feature on the
controller....it did eventually fall apart tho..the numbers on the keypad fell off one by one lol

the Colecovision should thank the 5200's controllers for taking people's minds off just how bad it's own controller is
that knob is very stiff and the controller always cramped my hand

Lucifixion
Posts: 10
Joined: January 4th, 2020, 6:32 pm

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby Lucifixion » February 10th, 2020, 4:54 pm

I'll take some flak for this, but it's also indicative of my mindset and ultimately why I'm on this site.

PS4 shipping with a 500gb hard drive is my most recent point of aggravation due to poor console design. Maybe this is not a ''blunder'' so much as a ''who gives a $#%T what the dedicated consumer thinks?'' attitude on behalf of Sony (and likely Microsoft, not sure as I only own a 360). I'd like to know how many other gamers find it unacceptable that 500gb gives you approximately, at least in my case, 6 physical games installed plus the Uncharted Nathan Drake collection pre-installed. So after I spend $400 for the console, $80x6 games, I now have to shell out another ($$$) for an external hard drive? Yeah, you can uninstall other games to save space. Great. Then spend hours reinstalling and redownloading all the updates if the itch should occur to play a game that's only a few years old? Like hell. I think I'll go and play a game that I own, not a disc which contains the information that bestows the rights to use said software contingent upon having the necessary but undersupplied hard drive space. This round goes to Nintendo for having a simplistic and fully functional console that doesn't require spending extra money as thanks for buying more of their products, such as that might be.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 10th, 2020, 5:41 pm

Lucifiction - I'm with you 100%! I probably spend more time "maintaining" my PS4 than any other system. Always having to make space! Thanks for chiming it because I hadn't even thought of this one.

Voor
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Joined: April 14th, 2015, 8:08 pm

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby Voor » February 10th, 2020, 6:40 pm

Regarding cartridge vs disc for 64 and PS1. I don’t think it was a blunder of the 64—as a 64 owner, I was pleased to not have to worry about load screens. That felt like a big step back for me.

strat
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Joined: May 14th, 2015, 1:12 am

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby strat » February 10th, 2020, 7:35 pm

From a usability standpoint, carts definitely trumped CDs at the time: no scratches and no chance of a disc drive breaking. Of course devs like Square (Square-Enix) and Shiny abandoned the system because there wasn't enough space for their games.

Some more:
PC-Engine/Turbografx-16: Only one controller port. That was seriously cheap and forced the purchase of a Turbotap just to play a 2-player game.
CD-I: Second controller port on the back, the stupid remote-shaped controller
3DO: Daisy-chained controllers
Sega CD: Requiring second power brick; the PC-Engine/Turbografx-CD attachment only needed one power supply for itself and the base unit.

Lucifixion
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Joined: January 4th, 2020, 6:32 pm

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby Lucifixion » February 10th, 2020, 8:41 pm

strat wrote:Sega CD: Requiring second power brick; the PC-Engine/Turbografx-CD attachment only needed one power supply for itself and the base unit.


Also needed for stereo sound on the first model of Sega CD/Genesis was a 3.5mm cable to go from the headphone jack on the front of the Genesis to the 'mixing' input on the back of the Sega CD. The first model Genesis doesn't support stereo output through the A/V out, hence using the headphone jack which does indeed supply stereo audio. So without physical modification, you always have this cord sticking out, destroying the admittedly cool aesthetic of the Genesis mounted on the Sega CD. I could verify, but I believe this was remedied on later revisions of both pieces of hardware...but then that brings up the issue of requiring something like 2' of width for that configuration.

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C64_Critic
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Joined: April 11th, 2015, 11:51 am

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby C64_Critic » February 10th, 2020, 9:28 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Intellivision control "phones" wires - could they make these any shorter? You practically need to keep the console on your lap to play it!


Thinking back on the waterboarding sessions that were playing Intellivision games... between the horrible button layout, the non-sensical "disc" controller, and the hand-crippling side buttons, I had almost completely forgotten about the ridiculously short curly cord. Seriously, was that entire controller designed from the get go to intentionally be the more horrible controller every designed?

ThePixelatedGenocide
Posts: 365
Joined: April 29th, 2015, 9:06 pm

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » February 10th, 2020, 11:05 pm

Bally Astrocade: The Neo Geo of its era, you were basically getting budget arcade hardware. The only compromises were in the screen resolution and the air flow, but once it stopped working, you got a free space heater/stove.

Coleco Adam: Turns your Colecovision console into a personal computer, and a powerful electromagnetic generator. If you followed the directions included with the console, you could immediately erase your saved games on start-up.

And all of the rest of the game too.

Atari 7800: Cartridge based soundchips. Most publishers weren't willing to pay the extra money for the option, including Atari themselves. But in a post SID world, listening to a TIA chip's best car alarm karaoke wasn't going to cut it for "Double Dragon." Especially when the car alarm can't remember the entire song and sounds a little bit drunk.

Atari's cruelty towards housepets and former tinnitus sufferers would haunt every game in the 7800 library, save for two, rendering GCC's sprite pushing monster almost instantly obsolete.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the last time Atari failed to support the ambitious new technology they brought to the market.

Atari Jaguar: If you're asking third parties not to use your aging 68000 chip for anything more than a console boot-up, then you should probably debug the rest of the hardware. And provide documentation on how to use it. Or at least not include a 68000 boot-up in the first place.

On the plus side, this meant it was still the most powerful Megadrive ever. ("Three times the blast processing! 262,144 times the color!") Atari fans are used to digging deep for the plus side. ("I'd like to see a 68000 chip handle Ruiner Pinball and Super Burn-Out all by itself!")

The Tiger R-Zone: Moral of the story: Do not hire an evil monkey's paw to design your Virtual Boy rip-off.

Original GBA: Without a backlight, every game had to be colored like a My Little Pony adventure, or else gamers were forced to play the game near nuclear testing grounds, and pray that the blast was bright enough to get a few seconds of Circle of the Moon in.

The Mattel Hyper-Scan: Finally, all the fun of mandatory DLC meets the roller coaster thrills of supermarket card scanning failure. Assuming you made it past the insane load times, anyways. Who made this? Robbie Rotten? WaLuigi? It takes real skill as a cartoon villain to have your trap fail this hard, when you're just trying to rob children blind.
Last edited by ThePixelatedGenocide on February 11th, 2020, 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alucard1191
Posts: 246
Joined: November 16th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby Alucard1191 » February 11th, 2020, 12:00 am

I am really surprised no one has said this: The wire on the dreamcast controller coming out the front. One of the worst design decisions on a main stream system.

The whole dreamcast controller would be worth mentioning except that the VMU port did allow some genuinely innovative things... but damn that thing is hard on the hands and not well designed. And from a company that made really good controllers on their previous systems. I think the Saturn 3D stick that came with Nights is better than the Dreamcast controller.

And on controllers, the N64 claw designs is.... awkward at the best of times. I think it might be slightly more comfortable than the dreamcast controller when you're using the middle stick. The D pad part of it is easier on the thumb than the dreamcast d pad as well.

ASalvaro
Posts: 121
Joined: May 24th, 2019, 11:51 pm

Re: Console Design Blunders

Postby ASalvaro » February 11th, 2020, 12:34 am

C64_Critic wrote:
VideoGameCritic wrote:Intellivision control "phones" wires - could they make these any shorter? You practically need to keep the console on your lap to play it!


Thinking back on the waterboarding sessions that were playing Intellivision games... between the horrible button layout, the non-sensical "disc" controller, and the hand-crippling side buttons, I had almost completely forgotten about the ridiculously short curly cord. Seriously, was that entire controller designed from the get go to intentionally be the more horrible controller every designed?

i thought it was an excellent controller for most games...games like Burger Time controls like a breeze..however the Intellivison 2 controllers were bad


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