It’s been a quiet last week here on Shinobi Speaks and that’s because I have been incredibly busy with work and family coming into town. With that said, I’m in the process of writing up quite a few pieces in the meantime and today I felt like doing something fun: going over the 10 best looking video game consoles of all time. You’ll notice that I have included handheld consoles as well and that’s really just to streamline everything. I really just wanted to touch on any good looking piece of gaming hardware. This is obviously just a personal preference list and it’s based completely on aesthetic choice so don’t start getting all pouty! In any case, it was fun going back in time for this so let’s dive right in!
10. SEGA Genesis (Model II)
The Genesis is one of my favorite consoles of all time with a ton of memorable software, but the hardware was no slouch either. It had a nicely shaped square design with more curved edges in a beautiful black. The “Genesis” logo is displayed prominently on the top section on the cartridge loader. The controller wasn’t the most practical to hold, but hell, I can’t fault the design, it looks sharp. The gloss is just the right amount and, come on, those six symmetrical buttons are perfect!
9. PlayStation Vita
“Sleek” is what comes to mind every time I look the Vita. I’m not a fan of the system’s name but damn is it a looker. The glossy black looks great, the buttons all look like they’re high quality and the overall layout feels good in the hands. The huge screen in the middle just tops it all off. It’s a beauty overall.
8. Sega Dreamcast
I love the Dreamcast. It was home to some of my favorite games of all time like Shenmue I and II, Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio and Power Stone. It was also a damn sexy machine. The controller wasn’t my favorite but I grew fond of it over time. It had four controller ports which for some awesome couch parties and I loved the top loading disc drive. I’m always more into the color black for electronics now but I really did like the gray color scheme back when it first released. The red LED indicator was a nice touch too. It was just a pretty, compact console overall. Miss you Dreamcast!
7. Nintendo Wii
Ignoring the cheesy name, I have to admit the hardware itself is sharp. I never cared much for motion gaming but I still think the Wii is elegant and simplistic in its design and that works to its favor. There’s really not much to it. It’s a basic rectangular shape but it looks sleek. The brightly lit blue LED strip on the front face of the console adds a wonderful touch.
6. Xbox One S
Microsoft really turned the Xbox One ship around with the introduction of its “S” model. It’s a huge step away from the monstrously sized, VCR’esque original Xbox One. I think the white color is very pleasing to the eyes and they were able to shrink the hardware to an impressive degree. It’s a rectangle, sure, but less is more in this case. I like the contrast in the halved design with one side a smooth finish and the other perforated. It looks beautiful in my entertainment center so I can’t help but applaud Microsoft on a fantastic product.
5. PlayStation 4
The original PlayStation 4 has one of the best console designs I’ve seen. The contrast between the glossy top (or left depending on the system’s position) and the matte finish works great and the middle LED strip accentuates that even further. The angled outlines really make the system stand out and I think it looks (‘looked’, since I now own a Pro) gorgeous in my entertainment center. Everything just feels very subtle and pleasing to the eyes. I think it was a perfect aesthetic upgrade from the PlayStation 3 when it released in 2013.
4. Xbox 360 Slim
This is one of my favorite visual upgrades for console hardware in my 20+ years of gaming. I already thought the original Xbox 360 was a beautifully designed piece of tech (in terms of aesthetics) with its curved edges, but the Slim improved on what was already a looker. The angled symmetry of both the top and bottom (or side to side depending on your preference again) looks so good to this day. I think that alone makes it quite unique and why I’m fond of it. The vent gave it a slightly more sinister look and it the matte black was always a winner. Great looking console.
3. PlayStation 2 Slim
Damn this thing was little. The original PlayStation 2 looked simple and endearing. A basic rectangle that felt so fitting in any entertainment room in 2000. Fast forward four years and Sony shrinks the whole thing into one of the most compact console designs to date. I mean this thing was tiny! The disc reader was practically half the size of the entire thing and the profile of the system was eerily small overall. It’s a beauty without a doubt.
2. Sega Saturn
This might seem out of place way up here at number two, but it holds a special place in my heart. I only owned a Saturn for a brief time but I absolutely adore it’s square design, more so than the Genesis or Dreamcast. It’s just an odd child in the Sega line of consoles due to it’s short lifespan on the market. I just love the varying lines spread across the top of it, the vents and the placement of the power, reset and open buttons. It looks beefy, as if it packs a punch in power (and it did back in the day!). The controller was a pain but nevermind that, the console itself is still one of my favorite all time designs.
1. Gameboy Advance SP
Yep. That’s right. The Gameboy Advance SP is the sexiest games system of all time (on the Shinobi Scale). I have so many fond memories with this bad boy. It was such a drastic departure from the original Gameboy Advance that I just had to put it at number one. The clamshell design was supremely compact and a complete 180 from the first iteration and it worked so wonderfully. Nintendo finally added a sorely needed backlight with varying levels of brightness, which I really appreciated. The game cartridges were inserted nice and snug from the bottom and all the buttons and triggers were in perfect positions. It added a rechargeable lithium batter and had incredible battery life at that, even with the backlight on. I had the cobalt blue color variant myself (as seen here). I always see this as ‘the little system that could’ in my eyes for some reason. Bless you GBA SP.
Well, those the top 10 best looking gaming systems from where I stand. How do you feel about the list? Any consoles or handhelds that you feel deserve to be on there? Let me know guys!