Original Xbox Design Team Critiques PlayStation 4

Original Xbox Design Team Critiques PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 console

Teague calls the PS4 beautiful and notes the improvements on the DualShock 4 but says the two are not cohesive.

Design consultancy company Teague worked on the original Xbox and its controller, both of which have changed tremendously since 2001. PlayStation has changed quite a bit, too, and Teague has been around to see the transition. The company offers its review of the PS4, calling it a "beautiful console and a much improved controller, but it's almost as if these two components were designed discretely, and they never combined to create a truly cohesive system," the company told Fast Company.

Teague notes the slim look of the PS4 is similar to the well-received PS2 slim model. However, the company noted it did not like the angular body of the PS4 in conjunction with other devices: "On its own we liked the effect-it adds visual interest and energy to the form-but is that really the best choice for a box that will likely live side-by-side with the rectangular boxes that fill most of our living rooms?"

The company had lots of praise for Sony's new controller. It's "solid, not light and toy-like like the previous generation" with the joysticks spread further apart. One Teague designer disliked the touchpad and said it resembled a "flip-up door," but overall the team said the controller both looked and felt good.

Teague ended its review with a critique of how the console and controller do not appear cohesive because the PS4 uses square grid-like patterns while the controller uses circles. The controller is also more gray than black while the console is black-on-black. Creative director David Wykes said of the loss of the controller's iconic look, "It looks like a piece of clay that's been worked with too much."

Do you find Teague's assessment fair?

Source: Fast Company

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In what universe do they live on where they werent the guys behind this?
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The original Xbox design was horrendous. These people shouldn't be critics of anything in design. But fair play, they achieved a cohesive design by having a huge brick for a system and controller.

How you sound like a pretentious douche? You say ""On its own we liked the effect-it adds visual interest and energy to the form" ... what the fuck does that even mean? How does it's design add energy? Visual interest I can kind of get behind but I don't get visual interest from it really.

Like I can look at the Liver building in Liverpool and think "wow, that's a great looking building" and then look at the building 4 along and think "god damn, that's ugly!" but with the PS4, it's just a weird shape and has different finishes ... although that blue pulse thingy sure is purdy!

He's correct from a design perspective. Unless your a designer, it most likely wont matter, or you wont understand his critique. The 2 have separate form factors. On they're own, they are both nice pieces of design, together they don't match. Its not a criticism of prettiness, just cohesiveness.

Have to admit they're spot on about the controller, It looks like a cheap, tacky rubber boomerang now. I think the actual system looks decent enough. Simple and discreet, and that blue light adds a nice little touch. I also have to admit that they're spot on in saying the two don't go together at all. In my opinion there's no coherence between the 2 designs.

At the end of the day though, even if you want them to look nice, it should still boil down to function > form.

Haven't people gotten bored of discussing what the console looks like yet? It's not like it makes any odds to the customers (unless they had brought out something so hideous that it was detrimental to your eyes in some way). Not to mention he ignores the ergonomics of this design which, at least from the looks of it, are excellent, particularly the changes to the controller.

josemlopes:
In what universe do they live on where they werent the guys behind this?
image

Indeed. Guys,you have no room to talk. Do elaborate as to why the original Xbox controller looked the way it did.

Sure, I'll go with that. The controller and the console don't really match each other aside from having roughly similar consoles.

Which is great, why would you want them to match? I like my controllers round and my console rectangular.

They should match? Hmm, that explains why you designed the travesty that was the orgianal controller. I loved the orginal xbox but that controller was the size of a house and felt like it. Chuck it out the window in frustration and knock over a bus.

I think the most important question here is "So?" The DualShock 4 doesn't need to look good next to the system, since ideally it should be in players' hands.

P.S. Thanks

If you don't think a box looks good next to other boxes, why did you make your console a rectangular box?

I don't think anyone buys a console to look at it anyway.

All I can picture is a room full of berets and neckerchiefs looking at a black box.

Screw the case, the innards and the data on the disks are the important things in a console.

Wow so much hate going around here. The company gave a critique on design. Their arguments are sound from a design perspective. Also, this is 2013, not 2001. A lot can change in 12 years. But I guess people only see what they want to see.

Teague ended its review with a critique of how the console and controller do not appear cohesive because the PS4 uses square grid-like patterns while the controller uses circles

Doesn't the Xbone have a generally square design? And I don't remember the controller being square too, although given the number of changes the console has gone through since it was announced maybe it is. Plus the Xbone is hardly a ground breaking piece of product design that challenges preconceptions about a synergistic user experience in a day-to-day configuration. It's a black box. Although I don't have a degree in being-paid-to-much-to-make-something-slightly-different-than-the-previous-something so what do I know?

Holy hell. With all the angry responses to this critique you'd think the people over at Teague were calling everyone's mother ugly and fat.

It's a critique, people. A critique from a design perspective. They're not insulting you, they're analyzing the design of the hardware.

And, in that regard, I actually found their critique quite fair. I agreed with many of their points. Not all, mind you, but many.

I even agree with their final conclusion. That while the controller and console aren't aesthetically cohesive, they are nonetheless both exquisite designs. I'd even go so far as to say that they are two of the best looking designs in console and controller history.

So good, in fact, that I've been finding myself almost wanting a Playstation 4. This after I'd sworn off this coming generation of consoles.

josemlopes:
In what universe do they live on where they werent the guys behind this?
image

You mean the controller that was just as much loved as it was reviled?

Many of the people I knew quite liked that controller. Myself included. It felt far more comfortable in our hands than the later redesign.

I still consider that controller one of my all-time favorites.

They designed a horrid controller and the system itself was not aesthetically pleasing. I don't care one bit for their assessment. Also, all that matters is functionality, and the XBox controller was lacking in function because of it's terrible button layout.

What they said was extremely fair. The console and controller look like the only theme that ties them together is "dark" (not even black) and possibly "simple geometric shapes".

However, on note for the circular controller, human hands aren't exactly square. From what I've heard the new DualShock 4 is a delight ergonomically. I'll worry about whether or not they look good together when we have to retire the thing to a plinth in the "Hall of Forgotten Consoles"

Controllers are to use. Consoles are for views.

This cheap rhyme brought to you with apologies.

from a friend: "people who live in glass houses..."

me: "...shouldn't own an xbox, because that thing's gonna go right through the floor."

PrimePowerOn:
From what I've heard the new DualShock 4 is a delight ergonomically.

You heard correctly. IMO it's not quite as comfortable as the 360 controller, but it's still a huge improvement over the DualShock 3, and the D-Pad is still leagues above what the 360 has on offer.

P.S. Thanks

Honestly I don't care what they think. It looks fine and most importantly it works and feels good. The games are what matter most anyway.

My biggest critique is how closely the PS4 and Xbone resemble each other. There isn't much to distinguish the two at a glance since they are both black angular boxes. Of course that is another minor quibble of mine, the blandness of a black box. Yeah I know there are technical and logistical reasons in its favor but again its just so meh and same-y to me.

When VideoGamerTV made a joke at the PS4 announcement that the console would just be a black box I made a joke about MS trying to out do them by making it even blacker and boxier. Funny how right we both turned out to be.

Oh, I was thinking they might have a critique of something that mattered, like how it worked. Hell, I'm in a field where design and aesthetics matter: Yes, the Xbox original (WTF IS WITH THE NEW CONSOLE BEING NAMED ONE, SERIOUSLY) controller did decently match the console. The Xbox controller is also the reason I bought a PS2. Aesthetics isn't always king, lads.

Despite their previous work making their opinions on design rather... dubious, I'd say it's a fair critique. I didn't necessarily disagree with them anywhere (though I'm not seeing much difference between the blackness of the controller and console).

While I've gotten used to the DualShock 4, I do kind of lament the loss of the more iconic design.

Leviano:
He's correct from a design perspective. Unless your a designer, it most likely wont matter, or you wont understand his critique. The 2 have separate form factors. On they're own, they are both nice pieces of design, together they don't match. Its not a criticism of prettiness, just cohesiveness.

Thing is though, the same can be said for almost every console ever created since the NES. It's not really something most people will notice or care about. And the prime concern in designing a controller shouldn't be to give it a design which is cohesive with the console anyway. It's nice when you can pull it off, but ergonomics are king in controller design.

Vivi22:

Leviano:
He's correct from a design perspective. Unless your a designer, it most likely wont matter, or you wont understand his critique. The 2 have separate form factors. On they're own, they are both nice pieces of design, together they don't match. Its not a criticism of prettiness, just cohesiveness.

Thing is though, the same can be said for almost every console ever created since the NES.

There are some notable exceptions. The Dreamcast had a very distinct and consistent design language. So did the Genesis Model 2, the NES, the SNES, and even the PS1.

And then there's the Gamecube, whose controller was notably not cube-shaped.

P.S. Thanks

Yeah, add my voice to the whole pantheon of people noting that this is the company that shipped a brick and called it a controller.

Personally, I love the console's design. It's damn nice to look at. And I don't think it would be difficult to find space for the machine alongside other boxes like a DVD player. And I barely even looked at the controller as it's usually in my hand and feels just fine there.

At the day's end, all it has to do is play games. And it does that. I really don't care if it's pretty. That's just a boon.

At the end of the day, I don't really find fault with their statements. It's all fairly true and balanced. Just sort of irrelevant.

PrimePowerOn:
What they said was extremely fair. The console and controller look like the only theme that ties them together is "dark" (not even black) and possibly "simple geometric shapes".

However, on note for the circular controller, human hands aren't exactly square. From what I've heard the new DualShock 4 is a delight ergonomically. I'll worry about whether or not they look good together when we have to retire the thing to a plinth in the "Hall of Forgotten Consoles"

Controllers are to use. Consoles are for views.

This cheap rhyme brought to you with apologies.

My Xbox loving friend who has been playing Xbox systems for 10 years or better, LOVES the new controller. He liked the feel of it, the speaker that is used by some games, and the overall design. Didn't really use the touch-pad while we played. He plans to buy his first Playstation in a very long time, soon. Probably sooner than he planned since getting his hands on my PS4 for a day.

These are the people who designed the original Xbox?

What makes them think they're qualified to critique anything?

I can agree that the controller and console don't match design wise, but it still looks far, far better than the Xbox One. Just look at this:

http://cdn.medialib.computerandvideogames.com/screens/dir_3119/image_311913_full.jpg

That is just ugly all around.

I'm going to echo what others have said and ask how the fuck does this guy have any business critiquing design? The original Xbox has to be one of the ugliest consoles of all time and the controllers were awful too.

Technically I suppose he does have a point though- the console is sharp and angular (in my opinion it's one of the prettier consoles), whereas completely understandably the controller isn't. Still, I can't really understand why people would give a shit about what the controller looks like as it's going to be obscured by your fucking hands.

So... they're complaining that the controllers aren't rhombus shaped like the console even though it's made to fit in human hands whereas the console is built to sit on a flat surface? I... ok? I guess it's technically true. Is the XBO controller not also round while the console is square?

I feel that these are pretty... arbitrary complaints. Sure, aesthetic design is always an important thing in the design of products, but these seem to boil down to sheer pettiness.

As little as it matters, I agree with their assessment... regardless of their own designs.
An angular controller is unlikely to be comfortable however, and a circle console will also look ridiculous... I feel their colour scheme could've been more coherent though. A thin blue bar like that of the console would've been better than their current light, and a half shiny, half matte black colour scheme would've helped too.

Otherwise, I agree yeah.

 

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