Design Evolution: Playstation

Theres nothing more fascinating that seeing a product grow up, design evolution is present all around us with some more obvious examples than others. Only looking back can we see products grow up, mature and be tweaked to market trends.

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The Playstation 1 or know in those days (1994) the Playstation. A special type of gammer (old) will recognise this games console quickly. Well before black became the contemporary modern colour for electronic devices the Playstation was coloured in a matt concrete grey – possibly due to budget cost but none the less at the time it was a fantastic game changing product that sold over 100 million units! The oversized buttons and central disc drive lid give it an iconic recognisable shape and I believe it is more distinctive that its successors.

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The Playstation 2 and PS2 slim line, released in the 2000s looked and functioned considerably different as well as  being a far more power machine than the Playstation 1. The concrete grey was replaced with a textured black colour finish, the physical properties where bigger and more robust than its predecessor. The machine is designed to be positioned vertically or horizontally offering the user more options. The linear lines that make up the ‘look’ of the PS2 help to cool the machine as well disguise the many vents it needed to stop it from over heating which was a design flaw in the original Playstation. The buttons are smaller and much more refined in comparison to the Playstation, was Sony designing their second machine to be more mature for an older audience? Yes, its likely as well as keeping their original customers who where growing along with the design.

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The Playstation 3 further highlights how important design is. The styling of the PS3 is very contemporary with a curved housing holding the components and a more polished finished which highlights the product curves. Again further refinement around the the operating buttons which resemble a sounds system or phone instead of games console. The PS3 has truly moved away from being solely a games console, it is now an entertainment system. Not only being able to play games and DVD’s the Playstation 3 can also play Blu Ray (a Sony product).

 

The one consistent through these software and hardware changes? The Playstation controller has largely be left untouched from its original design which is pretty remarkable! The iconic shape allows for easy grip and the symbols on the controller have become part of the PS brand.

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