Sony revealed the PS5 just a few days back and the design community is still split into two groups – one who is totally digging the futuristic Storm Trooper vibe while the other one group thinks the design resembles a ‘wifi router’ to say the least! This debate got me thinking over the gaming designs – consoles, handheld’s and accessory designs we featured over the years and one thing came across strongly – love them, hate them, we can’t ignore them! Featured here are the best of gaming designs to help you get inspired, debate thoughtfully, and find a common trend in the direction of gaming designs. Also, some eye candy to help you pass time while we wait for the PS5 sales to begin!
The Nintendo Flex by YJ Yoon is to the Gameboy what Daniel Craig is to Sean Connery. Same James Bond, but modern. (Sames Bond?) The Flex comes with a few very welcome updates. The bigger screen on a device that’s the same handy size (albeit thinner). The screen’s also mildly curved, giving you a slightly panoramic experience and adding just a tiny couple of more display inches into the same framework. The Flex retains the same keys and controls, but gives them a makeover too, opting for flushed surfaces rather than the original GameBoy’s chunky keys that stood out from the surface. The Flex’s biggest overhaul, however, is the change in Nintendo’s cartridge system. Flex ditches the large squarish cartridges for something much sleeker and thinner, looking almost like a stylus. The stylus-sized cartridge slides conveniently into a slot in the Flex’s base, locking in place and becoming impossible to remove while in the middle of gameplay.
Oliver Perratta designed an all-black version of the PS5 and we can’t help admiring it, maybe more than the original all-white design. As designer Michael DiTullo explains about the original PS5, “Strategically, xBox and Nintendo are circling the same aesthetic space that I call the Dieter Rams cul-de-sac. Nice B+ designs that don’t really cause a stir. I think Sony was smart to try something different. The market should have multiple different options if you draw out a 2×2 with geometric to complex curvature on one axis and minimal to complex on the other. Third, gesturally, the design is pretty iconic, it says leave me out. Sure it looks a bit like a router, but I’d say router designs have gotten out of hand, they should look more like an Xbox.”
Slated for a debut at CES2020, this is the Samsung Odyssey G9, an ultra-wide QLED gaming screen with a 49-inch diagonal and a mind-bending 1000R curvature. Launched under Samsung’s Odyssey tag, the G9 is targeted towards gamers, with a ridiculous 32:9 aspect ratio, 5120×1440 resolution, ultra-fast 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. While it isn’t really 4K, the G9 is the world’s first Dual Quad High-Definition monitor (basically the equivalent of eight 720p screens arranged in 4*2). The G9 is so incredibly wide, it practically covers your periphery, and with a curvature so tight, it gives you more screen in a smaller footprint. In fact, with a radius of 1000mm, it might be perhaps the most curved PC monitor we’ve ever seen.
Designed to fit well around the contour of your palms, the Fixture S1 by Austin Stark & Craig Ovans feels more like a true-blue controller, giving you the experience of a Playstation or Xbox in a portable format. Dock the Switch screen in the S1’s grip and you’re ready to go. Its folding grip for the Switch allows you to angle-adjust the screen to prevent neck or wrist strain, while the Screen-mount’s folding design lets you achieve the perfect balance, for hours of stress-free gaming. Moreover, the S1’s mount is detachable from the controller too, allowing you to achieve ‘tabletop mode’, where the screen stands on any flat surface like a mini desktop monitor, letting you game in ways never imagined before.
Sushant Vohra developed the EXEO 2.0 to refine the series of plug-together-and-play gaming controllers he designed last year. Retaining the three pillars of controller design, the Velox, Brutus, and Terra, Sushant decided to refine them, visually and ergonomically, sticking to the core design but making each product slightly slimmer, and with more character. They still snap together, allowing you to build more complex controllers from rifles, to bazookas, to steering wheels or hockey sticks.
Rafael Rubio’s Wood-e is a gaming console created from, well, wood! It’s an emulation system based on Raspberry which basically means its software has been programmed to operate and behave like the hardware of an older video game system. Inspired by the Nintendo tabletop arcade machines of the ’80s, Rubio wanted to bring back the style of some of the older video games. However, he wanted to create a design that would withstand the passage of time and could be easily maintained and repaired. Machine CNC-milled wood was his choice of material. Boasting a strong wooden structure, the console features bright red arcade-style buttons and a traditional joystick that evokes nostalgia! However, the red buttons are neutralized by the matte black and warm wood elements, creating a design that could double up as a decorative piece in your home.
The latest from gaming console enthusiast Joseph Dumary, this PS5 concept explores what we might be able to expect from the next generation of Sony systems. Less of an external aesthetic departure from previous models, the PS5 is focused on new guts that set it apart from the rest. For starters, the Smart Console records and adapts gamers’ behavior to provide preferred controller settings, applies game options automatically, and installs necessary apps to enhance the gaming experience.
Project Stream occurred as a one-time test-run for Google, allowing just a handful of people to play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on Chrome. However, if recent patent-files are any indication, Google is planning on taking this seriously. Here’s a look at the Project Stream controller, a visualized concept based on Google’s patented design… a concept, if executed perfectly, that could tank XBox and PS sales, and even kill the gaming laptop industry. The Project Stream helps integrate quite a few community features into the gaming experience too.
Following Dieter Rams’ footsteps, Love Hultén has designed one of the most simple and clear cut retro gaming consoles I’ve seen: the R-Kaid-R SK-4. Though Rams’ list of ingenious pieces is long, Love Hultén has carefully taken their pick adding little sneak peeks of the SK-4 record player and T3 pocket radio, sending us on a trip down memory lane. Sleek, simple, with arcade-style controls, the R-Kaid-R SK-4’s looks may have a vintage appeal but its functionality is deeply rooted within the 21stcentury with its ability to store 10,000 emulated games. Accompanied by its own screen and a built-in speaker, the console closes up like a briefcase, providing us with a ‘playful’ travel-sized sidekick wherever we go!
Based on patented designs, these conceptual Xbox Cloud controllers give us an idea of what the real thing would feel like. Two controller-halves clip onto either side of the phone, turning it into a handheld gaming console, complete with everything you need to play Xbox’s signature titles. The controllers come in a variety of colors, just like the original Xbox ones, and feature all the keys, buttons, and joysticks, including BOTH the left and right triggers on the top! Designed for immersive landscape gaming, the controllers come with two flippers that hold your phone gently but securely from the sides, while memory-foam pads make sure they don’t press any buttons. These side flippers are ideal for phones with no bezel, because this makes sure the controllers don’t overlap the screen from the left or right.
Designed to be at the very center of your life at home, the Project Oris lets you play games, listen to music, and even watch media. You could hook it to a screen, or you could just point it at a blank wall and let its in-built projector broadcast an 8K HDR display. For music and gaming, the display is complemented by the console’s in-built 5 audio drivers that deliver rich bass as well as crisp highs in all directions. The speakers even come with 4 omnidirectional microphones that pick up voice commands, because the console has a voice assistant built right into it. Tied probably to Microsoft’s services, the Project Oris runs Cortana, allowing you to set up gaming match reminders, as well as other functions, like dimming the lights or playing your favorite tracks.
Outwardly, the Mutrics GB-30 is a pair of really cool, chunky, vintage-gaming-inspired glasses. On the inside, however, the sleek glasses are fitted with open-ear audio drivers or bone-conducting earphones that provide a private audio-listening experience, especially for gamers, without the need for a cumbersome pair of gaming headphones. The GB-30’s open-ear audio drivers are arguably perfect for gaming. Whether you’re on Twitch, streaming your kill-streak or on the subway with your Nintendo Switch, the GB-30 is a pretty voguish way to listen to gameplay audio, while the open-ear technology means you can hear stuff around you too. The drivers are calibrated to deliver rich, directional sound so you can listen to and identify where a gunshot is coming from, or dialogues from a non-playable character. The smart wearables gamer-friendly design extends to the glasses too, by equipping you with blue-light blocking lenses that allow you to game for longer without the visual strain.