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Sega/Nintendo of America had terrible taste with graphic design in the early 90's, didn't they?

Nov 17, 2020
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The american SNES always looked disgusting. Wtf were they thinking.

PAL Snes was the goat design.
 
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cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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This is early 90s too. Thank god for whomever at Konami made these. Similar style so probably the same guy.









Too bad all these cardboard boxes have been recycled since then.
 

Reality Czar

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The late 80s style was great. The SEGA grid boxes are iconic. I think so much of 90s style is garbage.
 

Trimesh

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I like to call them 'game consoles'.

So you would call any device that has no purpose other than playing with it a "game console"? If not, that doesn't seem to be the answer to the question I asked.
 

Zog

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So you would call any device that has no purpose other than playing with it a "game console"? If not, that doesn't seem to be the answer to the question I asked.

You know how you can buy those V-Tech phones for kids but they don't actually work as phones, those are toys and guess where they are sold? The toy department.
 

AJUMP23

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Sep 29, 2020
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Nintendo Famicom design was great. That Japanese console box has always been beautiful and the controller buttons look great. They only thing they lack are the convex and concave buttons. The US doing that with their controller was smart.

Sega design sucked and looked horrible, but it was a product of its time. It appealed to the aesthetics of the age.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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Hey GAF, I play with my junk but I’m no professional porn star, does this mean my peepee is a toy? Never saw one in the toy aisle iirc 🧠

This is early 90s too. Thank god for whomever at Konami made these. Similar style so probably the same guy.










I still haven’t made up my mind if that cover blurb for Konami games was totally rad, or the epitome of cringe.
The Contra one is basically all of 90s gaming jargon condensed in a single sentence.
 

Trimesh

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You know how you can buy those V-Tech phones for kids but they don't actually work as phones, those are toys and guess where they are sold? The toy department.

Why don't you admit you don't want to answer the question? The problem here is that you seem to have this position that "toy" is somehow a pejorative term. It isn't. It's just anything that you play with for fun, which absolutely can include video game systems - or something like my C3 Corvette - sure, I could argue that it's a transportation device, but if I'm being honest that's not the reason I own it. It's a toy.
 

Trimesh

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Gaming and music are hobbies for all ages. The word "toy" implies something childish and you make it sound dismissive.

This is you projecting your position on me. I don't think there is anything wrong with toys at all - it's just that toys for adults tend to be a bit more expensive.
 
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nkarafo

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Hey GAF, I play with my junk but I’m no professional porn star, does this mean my peepee is a toy? Never saw one in the toy aisle iirc
Your junk is also used for pissing. So maybe it can be labelled as a tool you can also play with. Dunno.
 
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nkarafo

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This is you projecting your position on me. I don't think there is anything wrong with toys at all - it's just that toys for adults tend to be a bit more expensive.
But your answer to the more colorful style of the PAL Snes was that "it's a toy". So what did you mean by labbeling it as such in that context?

I don't agree they did this to make the console more happy looking for children. I think that the weird colorful icon is there to portray that the console can do very colorful graphics.
 

Zog

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Why don't you admit you don't want to answer the question? The problem here is that you seem to have this position that "toy" is somehow a pejorative term. It isn't. It's just anything that you play with for fun, which absolutely can include video game systems - or something like my C3 Corvette - sure, I could argue that it's a transportation device, but if I'm being honest that's not the reason I own it. It's a toy.
A game console is a game console, if I were to throw it into a broader category I would call it an electronic device.
 

Trimesh

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But your answer to the more colorful style of the PAL Snes was that "it's a toy". So what did you mean by labbeling it as such in that context?

I don't agree they did this to make the console more happy looking for children. I think that the weird colorful icon is there to portray that the console can do very colorful graphics.

I think you may be confusing me with someone else here.
 

Trimesh

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A game console is a game console, if I were to throw it into a broader category I would call it an electronic device.

Which is, again, not a response to the question "what would you call something that has no other basic purpose than to be played with?".
 

Zog

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Which is, again, not a response to the question "what would you call something that has no other basic purpose than to be played with?".
I guess you've never seen a department store that sold consoles in the toys department. They existed, I shopped there.
Ok, we will have to agree to disagree. You can go play with your toys now.
 
Aug 5, 2009
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Back in the day you could always rely on the Americans to make consoles look worse, have terrible box art and game cases.
That all changed with SONY and then SEGA with the DC
 
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Meesh

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Jan 6, 2007
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*sigh* Ah yes, 90s packaging and design, I can still smell the fresh, art laden, game manuals.
On the whole I'll always feel the marketing was a bit on the trash side, but really who took games as serious as they do now? Bigger budgets, better marketing and packaging/design... but I miss the simpler times.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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That’s nostalgia talking. I got in trouble in 3rd grade because I started asking kids if they had sex before after watching a Nickelodeon News special on Magic Johnson having HIV.
Hahahaha.

I remember in public school one of my buddies going around asking everyone if they were homosexuals or homosapiens. You didn't even have to hear the kid's answer. If he laughed hard you knew what answer he got.
 

Zeroing

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Sep 19, 2019
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So a guitar is a toy?

ok let me explain this to everyone, consoles were considered toys, Nintendo make sure of that when bundling NES with a robot after the gaming crash. Back in the 80s you could find them in stores for toys. Consoles only started being viewed as entertainment after Sony got into gaming and marketing it to teenagers.

there are tons of documentaries about it.

bottom line is, consoles were toys in the 80s but not anymore..
 
Oct 26, 2018
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I still haven’t made up my mind if that cover blurb for Konami games was totally rad, or the epitome of cringe.
The Contra one is basically all of 90s gaming jargon condensed in a single sentence.
LOL. I hear ya. I forgot about those. I did a quick google search to see if any other companies did that and they didn't, except Super Turrican which was more about graphics and sound or they crammed a review paragraph on it.
 
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lughnasadh123

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Feb 14, 2021
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The shape of the Super Famicon has the edge but I love the font and color of the SNES more.

As for box art they're both equally dated and bleh.
 

FStubbs

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I still think that Famicom -> NES has to be the dumbest exercise in console restyling I can think off. Make the unit much larger - but still need an external power brick, and change to an overcomplicated cartridge loading system that used a zero-insertion force connector without any wiping action - an arrangement that any even slightly competent EE would know had no chance of being long-term reliable.

The decision to more than double the physical size of the PC Engine to make the TG-16 was pretty questionable, too.
It was the 80s. Bigger = better. The PC Engine would've been seen as weak because it was too small. The NES was trying to look like a VCR because after the video game crash, stores didn't want to sell them anymore in the US. That's why the robot was an accessory and they called the cartridges "game paks".
 

Knightime_X

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Dec 17, 2018
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Honestly the boxes look just fine. One looks normal the other looks like they're trying way too hard.

Console wise I always like the us version more.
 

Trimesh

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It was the 80s. Bigger = better. The PC Engine would've been seen as weak because it was too small. The NES was trying to look like a VCR because after the video game crash, stores didn't want to sell them anymore in the US. That's why the robot was an accessory and they called the cartridges "game paks".
That really doesn't justify the brain-damaged connector design though - if they really wanted to make it front loading it would have been trivial to engineer the contacts so they had a wiping action when they engaged. You know, like the standard practice for low insertion-force contacts since the '50s. I really wonder how that managed to get through design review.
 
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Gp1

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And curiously at the same time the "blue sky era Sega" was on the coolest design trends of the 80/90's in gaming.

Outrun, Afterburner, Super hang on, Virtua Racing, Virtua fighter, Daytona, Sega rally, Sonic, Scud racer (not so early 90's), etc were all artistically consistent and transpire the Sega brand by it pores.
 
Dec 4, 2019
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Times were different in the 80s.
I remember it well, these nintendo and sega designs and ads were crack for the children at the time. For me at least.

Now with your 2021 lens, it looks shit. Big deal.
Remember we had no internet back then. There was nothing to compare anything to. We were starved for new things and ideas.
 

Zog

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ok let me explain this to everyone, consoles were considered toys, Nintendo make sure of that when bundling NES with a robot after the gaming crash. Back in the 80s you could find them in stores for toys. Consoles only started being viewed as entertainment after Sony got into gaming and marketing it to teenagers.

there are tons of documentaries about it.

bottom line is, consoles were toys in the 80s but not anymore..
Nintendo only did that because retailers wanted nothing to do with game consoles and computers after the crash. In other words, Nintendo was tricking the retailers to get them into stores. I would say that this is a really bad example.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

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It was the 80s. Bigger = better. The PC Engine would've been seen as weak because it was too small. The NES was trying to look like a VCR because after the video game crash, stores didn't want to sell them anymore in the US. That's why the robot was an accessory and they called the cartridges "game paks".
I feel for the families who bought the Deluxe Set with ROB. That poor robot was the most useless Nintendo first-party peripheral ever, purely a Trojan horse to push the console into living rooms. But I imagine kids must have been dying to get it. Power Glove was the same thing, a few years later.