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Thread: Fifteen Classic Game Console Design Mistakes

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    Pretzel (Level 4) coreys429's Avatar
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    Default Fifteen Classic Game Console Design Mistakes

    I know there are the normal classics of Virtual Boy design and the canned ham Xbox controller but there are others. I thought I would show off this list to everyone else. Also the site is a good site to comb over as well.

    http://technologizer.com/2009/08/10/...sign-mistakes/

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    ServBot (Level 11) swlovinist's Avatar
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    Now you have done it. Heaven forbid that someone points out problems with the Atari Jaguar. I personally thought that the system was perfect and that everyone else got it wrong




    On a serious note, most things I agree with.



    I would add that Gamecube got it wrong with their "fisher price controller"
    Would you like to know more about collecting video games? Check out my extensive Youtube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/swlovinist

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    I am often quite critical of articles like these, but this one is not only well-written and acceptably accurate, they also use the "What were they thinking?" line to do just that, demonstrating the methods behind the madness instead of sticking with a solely gamer-centric line of angst. Nice balance there - between pointing out the unloved and explaining it.

    Even if I also don't really agree with the Xbox Duke hate, they did a good job on that one.

    Not everything is accurate, though (the one that strikes me, although this may be pedantic and open to interpretation, I would point out for the GBA backlight entry most handheld LCD screens aren't actually lit from behind, but from the sides, although the light is disseminated through a layer behind the screen), and some sources and quotes would have gone much farther towards improving the stories. Going back to the GBA for a second, they could have mentioned some launch GBA titles like Castlevania: Circle of the Moon being especially harmed by this limitation. Still, they definitely had the right idea in mind here.

    If nothing else, the article is a winner based solely on this line:

    "Andre The Giant, were he still alive, would be disgusted."

    Yes, Andre has a posse!
    Last edited by Ed Oscuro; 08-11-2009 at 08:55 PM.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Dangerboy's Avatar
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    The Jaguar's controller is hands down the absolute worst controller ever. *ever*. This is coming from an intellivision owner, too.

    I just like how all of Nintendo's ones, sans the NES insertion issue, are essentially Nintendo just being too cheap to go the one extra step.

    Personally, they should have included the PSX's original laser too closer to power source issue, as that was just duh-hur.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) tomaitheous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swlovinist View Post
    I would add that Gamecube got it wrong with their "fisher price controller"
    Blasphemy! That controller was pretty damn nice.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Lerxstnj's Avatar
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    Not all consoles can be as perfect as the Dreamcast!!
    Getting ready for the big anniversary next month!!


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    Flawless Rawkality Flack's Avatar
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    Did I miss the RROD on the list?

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    Dreamcast forever!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flack View Post
    Did I miss the RROD on the list?
    At the very end he mentions it.

    And I had a real WTF moment with this part of the article:

    "If one wanted to leave a video game system hooked up to a TV set and then be able to watch standard television programming later, one had to manually slide a switch that provided by the RF switch box to select between the two signal sources."

    What the Fuck is he smoking?
    <skaar> Sega is like Marilyn Monroe would be if she was still alive but at one point went completely bankrupt and started making skin flicks.

    Feedback Thread - http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132406



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    How about PSP? 2nd analog stick needed perhaps? UMD's falling apart easily?
    These cartridges are dirty as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lerxstnj View Post
    Not all consoles can be as perfect as the Dreamcast!!
    Getting ready for the big anniversary next month!!

    Well, the Dreamcast controller with its single analog stick and 6 buttons wasn't exactly perfect at the time it was released. I never understood why Sega gave the controller only 4 face buttons with two triggers.

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    Keeper of the Terror Mask Dire 51's Avatar
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    And no one mentioned Sega's decision to stick the Pause button on the Master System on the console, rather than the controller? And even worse, to put it next to the reset button and make it the exact same color and shape? I mean, really. Who among us here hasn't accidentally reset a game at least once while trying to pause it?

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    *raises hand*

    Of course...I've only used my SMS for mere hours total.

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    Peach (Level 3) A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Hmm, some good points there, but some I disagree with of course, most notably the N64 using carts and the original Xbox controller... I've always preferred the original style Xbox controller to the S (it has a better button layout, and it's at least as comfortable too), and think that the N64 is better off for using carts.

    I can understand putting the N64 on the list for carts because it is true that that decision was a significant factor in Nintendo's failure that generation, but still, I at least absolutely feel that the benefit of quick access to all of the data on the cartridge (that is, short or no loading times and larger areas than can be done on CD systems then without good streaming technology). I love the N64, and definitely think that it wouldn't be as good as it is if it used CDs. So despite the downside of its impact on their success that generation, I at least think they did the right thing.

    But as I said I can see justification for putting it there even if I don't agree at all. The Xbox controller, though... I've never understood why people dislike it. But I guess I like larger controllers -- my favorite controller ever is the N64 controller, and the Saturn 3D controller and Dreamcast controller would probably be my next two. (Two analog sticks are overrated! )

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire 51 View Post
    And no one mentioned Sega's decision to stick the Pause button on the Master System on the console, rather than the controller? And even worse, to put it next to the reset button and make it the exact same color and shape? I mean, really. Who among us here hasn't accidentally reset a game at least once while trying to pause it?
    That was a common design decision back then, though. The Atari 7800 was the same... before the NES, apart from the Atari 5200 I don't know if any system had the pause button on the controller and not on the system, if they had one at all.

    That doesn't excuse the SMS though of course, which came out after the NES. They should have known better by then... but on the other hand they were probably just re-using the technology from their first system, the SG-1000. That's likely the explanation. The SMS had a new controller, but the same "two buttons and a pad/stick" design... but yes, they should have known better. The same goes to Atari for putting the pause button on the system on the 7800 after the 5200 had pioneered having a pause button on the controller... I know they went back to the 2600 controller port, but still, that shouldn't have presented the pause button from being on the controller somehow!

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    Key (Level 9) garagesaleking!!'s Avatar
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    i dont agree that there were flaws with the n64, i personally at that point in time preferred cartridge based gaming. I would love to see cartridges rise to the top again although it will never happen. Discs just scratch too easily, and break etc. I am not a fan of digital copies of games either because you have no physical property you can touch.
    Autobots. Roll out.

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    Honestly, I'm surprised no Sega controller is on the list. The problems mentioned regarding the Master System and Dreamcast controllers are the least of their issues. I don't think I've ever used a first party controller more painful and frustrating to use than the Dreamcast's controller. I'd rather fight with the ColecoVision's controller than that piece of junk. The bicycle handle grip is atrocious, the D-pad is all but useless, and why on earth did they have the cord coming out of the bottom? And don't tell me because of the VMU because surely there was a better way to incorporate it. Even that is a failure too because, as nifty as it is in concept, the battery is dead in a freakin' week, and then it's just an excessively bulky memory card until you spend the money and time to replace it. And on the subject of cord placement, how about how the original Master System controller had the cable coming out of the SIDE? Seriously, were they playing a joke on us?

    I think people are too fixated on the quality of the Saturn controller to realize that Sega has a pretty pathetic history of controller design.

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    Peach (Level 3) A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Oh, and I forgot to mention it, but I think the Virtual Boy's design was fine. I mean, they even in that article did a good job of describing why there was no color... it couldn't be done at that time. And really, greyscale (redscale, whatever) isn't that bad... but of course, I am also a Game Boy fan... but still, greyscale isn't that bad, and the VB's 3d technology looks really, really cool, and the graphics are pretty good too, way above anything possible on GB or GBC. I think that the system may have been hurt publically for not having color, but technologically and looking back, it really shouldn't be criticized for it... and other things hurt the VB too, like all of those red-box warnings, the headaches, that you can't 'get it' without actually playing the system yourself and can't understand why it's cool by just watching someone play, or watch anyone play period, etc. I think those things were bigger hurdles than the lack of color, GB was doing fine without color at that time...

    Quote Originally Posted by garagesaleking!!
    i dont agree that there were flaws with the n64, i personally at that point in time preferred cartridge based gaming. I would love to see cartridges rise to the top again although it will never happen. Discs just scratch too easily, and break etc. I am not a fan of digital copies of games either because you have no physical property you can touch.

    Great point, carts are much more durable and that's another thing I really like them for. CDs you need to constantly take good care of and worry about because they can be so easily damaged... but carts? No problem, they'll be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    Honestly, I'm surprised no Sega controller is on the list. The problems mentioned regarding the Master System and Dreamcast controllers are the least of their issues. I don't think I've ever used a first party controller more painful and frustrating to use than the Dreamcast's controller. I'd rather fight with the ColecoVision's controller than that piece of junk. The bicycle handle grip is atrocious, the D-pad is all but useless, and why on earth did they have the cord coming out of the bottom? And don't tell me because of the VMU because surely there was a better way to incorporate it. Even that is a failure too because, as nifty as it is in concept, the battery is dead in a freakin' week, and then it's just an excessively bulky memory card until you spend the money and time to replace it. And on the subject of cord placement, how about how the original Master System controller had the cable coming out of the SIDE? Seriously, were they playing a joke on us?

    I think people are too fixated on the quality of the Saturn controller to realize that Sega has a pretty pathetic history of controller design.
    Bah, no way. As I said the DC controller is one of my favorite gamepads ever, and I actually prefer the Saturn 3D controller to the original Saturn one and think that that 3D pad is also one of my favorites. Also, my favorite ever gamepad without an analog stick is actually the Genesis 6-button controller (the standard Sega one with the Mode button on the right shoulder position). It's just an exceptional pad, perfect design and comfort...

    You're right that the SMS pad was horribly designed, but starting with the Genesis Sega had some of the best controllers around. But I know how much people like controllers is something which is pretty much 100% personal opinion. Here's some more proof of that.

    I do agree the VMU's battery life was miserable, but at least they were only necessary if you wanted to play the VMU minigames, not for anything else. Most of the time you can just forget the batteries. As for size VMUs are only a little bigger than PSX or N64 (particularly third-party N64) memory cards, and are a heck of a lot smaller than the memory carts on the Sega CD or Saturn...
    Last edited by A Black Falcon; 08-12-2009 at 02:35 AM.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    At the very end he mentions it.

    And I had a real WTF moment with this part of the article:

    "If one wanted to leave a video game system hooked up to a TV set and then be able to watch standard television programming later, one had to manually slide a switch that provided by the RF switch box to select between the two signal sources."

    What the Fuck is he smoking?
    What are you smoking? That statement is correct for classic consoles like the Atari 2600 and Atari 7800.

    Oldest console you've played must be a NES. There were at one time switchboxes that weren't automatic.

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    Bell (Level 8) Darren870's Avatar
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    What about the 3D0 and how you have to "link" controllers for more then 1 person to play.

    That was the WORST idea.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) FantasiaWHT's Avatar
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    Gotta hate on the DC controller. I remember getting horribly cramped up just from playing PSO. Had to stretch fingers too far to reach the triggers, the layout was too vertical.

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