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Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 9th, 2020, 6:20 pm
by VideoGameCritic
I have an idea for a new "special" page, this one with the top 10 (20?) bone-headed console design decisions.

I already have at least a dozen good ones, but thought I'd open it up so you guys can remind me of some I missed.

Here are a few samples:

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

PS4 "sliver" buttons - too skinny to read the symbols; nobody knows what they do. Tapping one is different from holding it in for 5.24 seconds. WTF

Atari 5200 non-centering joysticks - this just may be #1.

I got more, but I'm going to keep them to myself while I open up the floor...

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 9th, 2020, 8:19 pm
by DrLitch
Atari Jaguar Controller.
Console was released at a time where Mortal Kombat 2 and Street Fighter 2 were all the rage. While neither title ended up on the Jag the controller was still an epic failure for this doomed console.

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 9th, 2020, 8:25 pm
by Stalvern
That stupid keyboard on the Odyssey².

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 9th, 2020, 8:30 pm
by Shapur
Maybe not the most egregious but front loading and depressed cartridge slot for the NES. Completely unnecessary, and unreliable.

Although it’s not on this site, removing the N Gage’s battery each time to change a game cartridge seems insane.

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 10th, 2020, 10:08 am
by Retro STrife
Xbox - that massive first controller
Xbox 360 - whatever caused the red rings of death

Saturn - minor one maybe.. but I hate that it uses a CR2032 battery for saved games, which dies every year and erases your games

PS3 - the complex processor architecture and $600 price tag that plagued it from catching on for years

NES - the terrible 72-pin connector (i.e., constantly blowing in games, flickering graphics, games cutting out during play)... might just be a contender for #1
N64 - another #1 contender: N64 sticking with cartridges.. it virtually handed the console wars to Sony, and they never looked back.

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 10th, 2020, 11:19 am
by MSR1701
* I've heard many complaints over the CD32's controller design
* The Virtual Boy
* Game Boy Micro (this was marketed as removable face plates, then none of said face plates appeared outside of Japan)
* The Sega Saturn international controller (not the Japanese one); not very comfortable
* Playstation 2 - the laser reader's high defect rate of locking into only one read mode (the PS2 ran CD Music discs, PSOne CD-Roms, PS2 CD-Roms, PS2 DVDs, and DVD-Rom movies, and the laser reader could get stuck and read only one of the items listed above)
* XBox 360 - Red Ring of Death (TM)
* Wii Mini (with no Wi-Fi support) - designed as a cheaper Wii during the Wii U release, and shunned by consumers and gamers for lacking key features)
* Atari Jaguar CD - lack of durability (though you could say this about many early CD-Rom systems)
* SuperGrapix - An upgraded PC Engine/Turbo-16, that barely added anything
* Atari 5200 controller

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 10th, 2020, 11:53 am
by Stalvern
People keep bringing up the 5200's controllers while ignoring the moronically enormous piece of mostly empty plastic (including a drawer for the controllers) that was the system itself.

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 10th, 2020, 12:09 pm
by MSR1701
Stalvern wrote:People keep bringing up the 5200's controllers while ignoring the moronically enormous piece of mostly empty plastic (including a drawer for the controllers) that was the system itself.


Not sure that was a true Blunder, as that was an intentional design based on consumer feedback at the time from the VCS. I'm just glad they were still using removable controllers...

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 10th, 2020, 12:10 pm
by ASalvaro
How about no copy protection on the Dreamcast

Re: Console Design Blunders

Posted: February 10th, 2020, 12:36 pm
by MSR1701
ASalvaro wrote:How about no copy protection on the Dreamcast


Not sure if that is a true blunder, as it has helped the Dreamcast homebrew community over the years (games are still being made for it and distributed).

If Copy Protection is a counted Blunder, then the Dreamcast has more problems that could be counted - the legal battles over the prototype Black Katana/Eclipse models drained Sega's finances and killed any chance of including the DVD-ROM option into the Dreamcast.