Best Console Design Decisions

General and high profile video game topics.
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Retro STrife
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby Retro STrife » April 17th, 2020, 4:08 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Actually the Xbox 360 came out a little bit before the PS3, so does the 360 deserve this honor?


I don't think the initial Xbox 360 controllers had recharging built in or in the box. My recollection is that the controller had a battery compartment and, for an extra cost (like $20), you could buy a separate recharging kit that added a rechargeable battery. So it's a dicey area. Hard to call it a good design when it required a separate purchase, but also heard to credit the PS3 when it wasn't doing anything too novel either. Wireless controllers were around since the Atari 2600, but just took til the 2000s for the technology to be practical.

But the 360 controllers were pretty amazing in their own right. That was the first top-tier controller for 3D games in my opinion.. the amount of buttons, button placement, quality of the two analog sticks, size and comfort, etc.. I think Sony's controller is now comparable on PS4, since they improved the sticks, but Microsoft got there first and those 360 controllers were near perfect.

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Shapur
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby Shapur » April 17th, 2020, 5:09 pm

Did Xbox 360 controllers ever come with built in batteries? My Xbox One still uses AAs. Which to be honest is the better solution as all cell phone users know these batteries have finite charge/discharge cycles.


NES D-Pad
N64: 4 controllers, analog stick for 3D
Xbox: Built in broadband modem
Saturn: 3D pad. Not joking. The Xbox style controller Has become the de facto industry standard and it’s a straight evolution of the DC/Saturn pad.
Xbox 360: DVD. Just as much as the PS2. Sony waiting for inclusion of violet laser technology cost them dearly.

3DS: 3D. Yeah it’s a gimmick. And maybe a lot of us turn it off most of the time but it created enough interest to let the console survive. Even phone manufacturers were trying to include 3D screens for a few years after it’s launch. If the 3DS was just a more powerful DS it might have gone the way of the Vita.

strat
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby strat » April 17th, 2020, 7:55 pm

I'm thinking of which designs were best for end-user experience as opposed to most innovative. So PS3 perfected the idea of a wireless controller even if X360 was the first to make it standard. But the X360 might've been the first console to have sleep mode, from what I can tell.

GBA SP - The N-Gage might technically be the first handheld system with a rechargeable battery but this is the first one anybody would want to play. I'm in denial over having just found out the N-Gage sold 3M units(!?).

PC-Engine/Turbografx-CD - This probably wasn't the most reliable device but at least the base system with CD attachment only used one power brick.

PS1 Memory Cards - While these are beyond obsolete they were a godsend at the time. You could have as many save games as you want and it was even kinda fun to catalog them. (Pro tip: PS1 games can't save directly to a PS2 card but a PS2 card can backup saves from a PS1 card.)

360, PS3, Wii - Don't feel like researching the exact history of their download services so we'll just say they made classic, last gen and indie games available for download.

Iffy mention - I want to say the Wii U gamepad was a good design. It's comfortable and very nice in the games that use it properly (Wind Waker HD, Mario Maker). Plus it can be used instead of a TV (albeit with poor range). But the fact is has a separate power cable and can't charge off the console sucks - and if you're just using a Pro Controller it can't be easily turned off separately from the console. It doesn't even have a sleep mode.

LoganRuckman
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby LoganRuckman » April 18th, 2020, 5:57 am

Retro STrife wrote:
VideoGameCritic wrote:So it sounds like Atari 7800 and PS2 qualify for the same good design item. Do I separate the two or combine them?


Good question.. I think either way is fair. But in the interest of not taking up two spots, I'd vote to just combine them.

But I do think both are equally worthy. I believe the 7800 was the first US console with backwards compatibility. (But computers probably had it first, so it wasn't a new concept. And the Mark III in Japan, playing SG-1000 games, might have preceded the 7800. They were both in development at the same time.) But either way, I think 7800 was the first notable US console use and having the 2600 library at its fingertips might be the main reason it survived the few years that it did. Likewise, the PS2 brought back backwards compatibility after a 15-year hiatus, and did it on much more complex hardware. It was huge for the PS2 to capture that giant market of PS1 gamers and migrate them to the new system. And it set a new standard, where gamers today have started expecting backwards compatibility.


Technically, the GBC was backwards compatible with OG GB games before the PS2 came along.

Voor
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby Voor » April 18th, 2020, 11:46 am

No love for the SNES eject button? Geez...

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 18th, 2020, 12:28 pm

Voor wrote:No love for the SNES eject button? Geez...


Hell I forgot my SNES HAD an eject! I don't think I've used it once!

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Retro STrife
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby Retro STrife » April 18th, 2020, 12:52 pm

strat wrote:PS1 Memory Cards - While these are beyond obsolete they were a godsend at the time. You could have as many save games as you want and it was even kinda fun to catalog them. (Pro tip: PS1 games can't save directly to a PS2 card but a PS2 card can backup saves from a PS1 card.)


That's a good one too. It's easy to scoff at memory cards now, but they really were a godsend in the PS1 days. Cheap, reliable, and a practical solution for saving games. It wasn't the first home console to do it (off the top of my head, that honor probably goes to the Sega CD with its Backup Ram cart), but it was probably the first mainstream and practical use of memory cards.

Voor
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby Voor » April 18th, 2020, 1:39 pm

I think the Joycons are pretty cool. Not perfect, but the fact that you can use them with or without a grip or individually is impressive.

strat
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby strat » April 18th, 2020, 1:54 pm

The Sega CD cart was the retail price of a standard cart so I didn't include it. Also a quick read suggests it was unreliable with some games.

Neo-Geo had a memory card but it's battery-backed so I was probably right to exclude it as well. Plus I'm not sure if it was used for anything other than saving high scores.

HawgWyld
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Re: Best Console Design Decisions

Postby HawgWyld » April 20th, 2020, 2:07 pm

strat wrote:Iffy mention - I want to say the Wii U gamepad was a good design. It's comfortable and very nice in the games that use it properly (Wind Waker HD, Mario Maker). Plus it can be used instead of a TV (albeit with poor range). But the fact is has a separate power cable and can't charge off the console sucks - and if you're just using a Pro Controller it can't be easily turned off separately from the console. It doesn't even have a sleep mode.


I don't know if that's iffy -- I love the Wii U gamepad and a strong argument can be made that it led to the Switch. Yes, the Switch fared much better commercially than the Wii U, but there are still some games available for both systems that play much better on the Wii U due to the gamepad (Splatoon comes to mind immediately).


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