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The best ENGINEERED console of each generation

DaGwaphics

Member
I already know this. I do appreciate your input. But the reality is I still think the system was designed pretty darn well considering it was released a year earlier than the competition and outperformed it. But what you're saying is something to consider. That's why I'm asking for everyone's opinions.
It is something that it not only was released sooner but was also less expensive to produce and yet still held its own. From a performance perspective, that's all that anyone could have hoped for. Mine was great, I did have one RRoD, but still a great console.
 

01011001

Member

the failure rate was a production issue but the hardware was objectively better than the PS3's which was unnecessarily expensive, complex and ALSO had a failure rate of 30% BTW! the Yellow light of death will come to every launch PS3 eventually for similar reasons than the RROD

the 360 was more powerful, less expensive, easier to develop for and released a full year before the PS3... how is that not better than the PS3?
 
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S0ULZB0URNE

Member
Not touching the Atari and pre-Atari consoles(yes I experienced them) or portables like the switch.

These are my opinion of the best engineered consoles for each gen after.(not necessarily my choice as best console for each gen)

Nes vs SMS? SMS
TG16 vs SG vs SNES? TIE SG/SNES
Jaguar vs 3D0 vs SS vs PS1 vs n64? TIE SS/PS1
DC vs PS2 vs XB vs GC? TIE XB/GC
360 vs PS3 vs Wii? PS3
Wii U vs PS4 vs XBO vs PS4 Pro vs XBO X? XBO X
XSX vs PS5? XSX
 
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quest

Not Banned from OT
I don't know how anyone can say the NES lol. That was the 360 before the 360. Instead of the RROD games would notv work until you did a ritual , sacrificed a goat, cleaning the game, and system making sure the cartridge was perfectly placed after trying 30 times moving it a mm in or out to get the fucking thing to load. Worst designed cartridge bay ever. Same with anyone and the ps1 with the failure of the lasers assembly on early units. Play to much over heat it screw up the laser assembly. Turn the fucking thing upside down until it dies. Then buy another rinse and repeat.
 
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Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Gen 9.

Too early but I'd say ps5 so far. It should be entirely outclassed by the Xbox but it's not at all.
Why should the PS5 be totally outclassed by the Series X?

CPU wise they are very close, very very close.
VRAM wise its not that big of a deal.
GPU wise the PS5 has a number of advantages over the Series X in terms of Pixel fill rate and triangle rasterization....heck sometimes just having faster clocks can do a system/game wonders over slower wider setup.

Why should it be outclassed again?
 

Dream-Knife

Member
NES
SNES
N64
Xbox
PS3 because they were trying something revolutionary
Wii U because it was different I guess. PS4/XB1 are basically the same machine.
Switch I guess because the same as above.
 

skit_data

Member
Game Boy.

My 10 year older brother got it when he was about 8 years old and I still used it when I was like 12. That little grey brick was used for over 14 years. It worked just as fine for him when playing Penguin Wars as for me when I was playing Pokémon Gold. It’s the 3310 of gaming machines.
 
No way to do this without coming off as a fanboy...but imma start with 6th gen since thats pretty much where gaming stared for me:

Xbox
Xbox 360
PS4
Revisions: Xbox One X
Xbox Series X
 

Romulus

Member
I would say NES, SNES, and PS1.


But OG xbox was the greatest engineered of all time, even despite its size. I'll get to that later.

Power. It was the only console I played that felt like a next gen jump from within a generation. People are still modding the original hardware to push games at NATIVE 720p with little performance lost. Insane for a 2001 machine. 720p was extremely taxing at that time.
Not to mention, the more demanding multiplatform games often ran at higher resolutions and fps, and that's considering devs didn't push it. And the most taxing games like half life 2, doom 3, etc weren't even attempted on the other machines despite Xbox's tiny install base.


We also forget that the xbox was the first console with a harddrive that could literally save thousands of games without memory cards, burn music, etc etc. It could even stream in game assets. That took a lot of space inside the machine, along with a full DVD drive.

Xbox live is more infrastructure, but it was the blueprint for the services we used today. It was miles ahead of anything on ps2, and nonexistent in GC.

It was a unique combo of innovation, crazy power, and reliability and that's considering it was MS's first try. The games were great too, great variety from SEGA, Microsoft, and all sorts of PC ports not on the other machines.
 
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Ozriel

Member
Let's talk about the generations of video game consoles and the engineering of the hardware respective of the time...

First Generation is actually Pong machines.

I say the Coleco Telstar series and Nintendo Color TV game systems take this one IMO

2nd Gen:

Atari 2600
Intellivision

I'm open to other options, but the Atari 2600/VCS gets my vote.

3rd Gen:

NES/Famicom
SG1000/Colecovision
Atari 7800
MSX

I choose the NES/Famicom. Released in July 1983, it was vastly superior to it's contemporaries in regards to videogames both in graphics, audio, and cost. The Sega Master System/ Mark III was late in the game and basically a mid-gen console.

4th Gen:

PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16
Genesis/MegaDrive
SNES
NEOGEO
Maybe the CDi lol

I say SNES. It boasted colors, audio, effects, and affordability above the competition. Again, the games show this IMO.

5th Gen:

3DO
Atari Jaguar
PS1
N64
Saturn

I say the PS1. It offered the power and storage to deliver the games of the time. Look at the library and success. Yeah, the N64 was more powerful, but it came out more than a year later and was hamstringed by low storage.

6th Gen:

Dreamcast
PS2
Gamecube
Xbox

I say Gamecube. The most powerful per dollar by far. Great conversion, library, and the architecture was so good they decided to use it twice.

7th Gen:

Wii
Xbox 360
PS3

I say the 360. Released a year ahead of it's contemporaries and was the best third party machine due to development ease and amazing capabilities. Also, the best online console to date by far.

8th Gen:

PS4
Xbox One
PS4Pro
Xbox One X
Wii U

This is a weird gen to me. Mid gen refreshes. Based on the originally released hardware... PS4 was the best designed and positioned perfectly from the capabilities to cost. More for less. But the Xbox One X is one of the best engineered consoles I've ever held and I rode the last end of the gen on that. Quiet, cool, powerful and the best versions of games til recently.

9th Gen:

Switch
PS5
Xbox Series X

The Switch is the most capable portable console of all time (I'm not including tablets and phones.... they are not consoles/ dedicated game hardware). And I'm not sure about the PS5 vs Xbox Series X... seems too early to tell. I think the Series X is physically designed better than the PS5, it's features are better as far as BC and online IMO, but this comparison has yet to really unfold. They are the same price, they are similar in power, and I am not sure what system will be better in the end. From an engineering standpoint.... what will be the easiest to develope for when the tools develope, what will have more capabilities, etc. The Switch is another beast altogether...

Up in the air for me.

Thoughts?

BTW.... NOT your favorite console of each gen, but the best designed/engineered on the basis of these factors:
1) Power
2) Cost
3) Development
4) Capabilities
5) Time Frame

I have absolutely no idea why you seem to think the Switch deserves to be in the same conversation with the PS5 and Series X. It’s a Tegra X1 tablet. Feels like something anyone could have made, and they certainly had to solve far fewer engineering challenges than the others. Not to mention the stick drift issues.
 

RetroAV

Member
I didn't care for gaming until the 3rd gen so:

NES
GENESIS
PS1
XBOX
XBOX 360
PS4

As far as this gen goes...something tells me it's going to be the PS5, but we'll see I guess.
 

Tschumi

Member
Best engineered vs. over engineered... PS3....

I think PS2, Gamecube and XBOX were a dynamite generation because they were each superior to the other in certain ways (yes, PS2's artful use of blurring and stuff was wonderfully artistic and gave us timeless graphics like MGS2) I love that Metroid Prime was locked 60FPS with insane triangles, I also love that the best version of Metal Arms: Glitch in the System u can play right now is one that mixes the XBOX's superior models with the GCN's higher particle count...XBOX clearly had the best looking version of SSX3 (albiet the worst controls)... after that generation i think it was a straight shot PS3, PS4/Pro, and now PS5.

In terms of handhelds the PSP and [a hacked] Vita are the titans of the family.

Switch Lite is a honourable mention, a really well made handheld.

I own a Series S, I like it (especially it's emu capabilities) but It hasn't run entirely as I've wanted/expected it would run and I consequently can't rank it above the PS5.
 

Ozriel

Member
I think for current gen, I’d have to go with the Series X over the PS5.
more power, in a significantly smaller chassis while still remaining quiet.
The PS5 is also an engineering marvel. Clever cooling to keep temps down and noise levels low despite the high RDNA2 clocks. Plus their unique SSD system.

Both next gen consoles are brilliantly engineered
 
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HoodWinked

Member
360 is the most ingeniously designed system of all time.
the insanely thoughtful system level features of online, profile, guide menu and achievement integration. the foresight they had to do this without a template was trailblazing.

then there was just the insane luck of its straightforward architecture, being gifted parts of the PPE from the cell processor, getting pushed by EPIC to double their RAM to 512MB, and being burned by Nvidia previously that they were driven to AMD which resulted in them getting a disproportionately powerful GPU. They even had backwards compatibility with Xbox1. It was because of the culmination of all of this that the system was able to absorb the disaster of the RROD. And to put things into perspective the previous generation was the PS2 generation the complete and utter dominance from Sony; for Xbox to somehow overtake them with that kind of momentum speaks volumes.
 
Gen 7

The Phat Ps3 that had backwards compatibility is still my favorite media device of all time, I got mine at launch and it survived until 2013. Rrod put me off MS hardware for good
 

jakinov

Member
Gen 7.

PS3 for BluRay. Take that out then it's 360 for sure
Disagree. Not a example of great engineering to shove in a blu-ray player in. Plus, blu-ray was a horrible idea at the time and example of poor design choices. Developers ending up making the user spend 5-40 minutes to install a game for many game before they could play while the competition didn't. Or develoeprs ended up wasting blu-ray space by duplicating data multiple times on the disc. We saw little no advantage except for a handful of games where you had to swap discs. What happened instead was developers kept bragging about how much space they wasted/used on the disc then...in the ps4 days they'd release the same game bundled with other games for 1/3 the space.
 

HoodWinked

Member
Gen 7

The Phat Ps3 that had backwards compatibility is still my favorite media device of all time, I got mine at launch and it survived until 2013. Rrod put me off MS hardware for good
the ps3 BC was not well engineered since they required the chips from the ps2 to implement the BC, at first it was the full Emotion Engine + RSX chip then they were able to do BC with just the RSX, then dropped the chips completely. The fact that they had to re-engineer backwards compatibility multiple times with different hardware configurations is bad engineering. Where as in the PS2 they reused the PS1 chip as an I/O processor so they could use it for BC as well which showed more ingenuity and was more cost effective.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
I agree with your choices, basically.

The GameCube in particular was super well designed, so much power in such a little box.
 

rofif

Member
This gen ps5. Silent, beautifully curved, not just a box. Great io features and controller features. Xsx is almost the same but it’s a dust catcher, weird fingerprint material and it’s an ugly box. Should at least be white.

last gen PS4.
Las last gen 360. PS3 is a monster but they had one year more to design it
 

HoodWinked

Member
As a follow up to X360 being the best, the Xbox One is probably the worst designed console of all time.

They wasted this much of their die for SRAM. this thing could have been a 30 core GPU monster. They did this so they could cheap out on DDR3. Which I think was done during the time when DDR3 ram was being supply squeezed to inflate prices so they didn't even reap the benefits of cheaper memory. In the end the system's dimensions we're huge, the console was significantly less powerful than the PS4, yet somehow more expensive, had poor launch titles, a very poorly coordinated worldwide launch, and initially designed to have disc-based DRM. Even the name sucked Xbone.



 
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kuncol02

Member
6th gen:
PS2 slim

7th gen:
Wii. And not because it was good, but because it's competition was terrible. X360 had lots of hardware problems with RRoD being biggest one and PS3 was so terrible that Sony fired people responsible for it's design (also SixAxis and DS3 are worst controllers I ever used)

8th gen:
XBox One X - probably best build console ever.

9th gen:
For now Series X. Not as good as One X, but IMO still miles above competition
 
Best engineered in terms of what? Performance per watt? Most powerful? Best build quality?

I'm just going to answer in terms of a console's chipset design in terms of capability, and factoring in how well rounded it was in terms of what had the least bottlenecks.

Gen 5 : N64. It certainly had the most bottlenecks but it was a generation ahead in terms of feature set and carts were great for games as well as durability. Ps1 had the most well rounded hardware and gets points for its sound chip. Ps1 was definitely the most balanced design this gen.

Gen 6 : gamecube. Performance per watt was the best of the generation and while xbox was more powerful, it had bottlenecks and the edram on cube let it do some cool things graphically. Just look at how small the thing is.

Gen 7 : Xbox 360.

Pretty clear cut here, it was mostly as powerful as ps3 yet a more, and better memory system with edram that also didn’t get any of the bad ports ps3 got, or very few of them.

Killzone 2 was the moment I knew ps3 could do a bit more if given the effort, but it’s hard to deny 360 has the better design overall.

Gen 8 : Ps4.

Duh. No eSRAM taken to the knee :p Plus Xbox one/series disc drives suck.

Gen 9 : Ps5.

While not exactly more capable than series X, it’s pretty evident that ps5’s extra clock speed, and single pool of easy to use fast memory make it the better design vs. series X. Ps5 is winning in comparisons early on and it’s got some great showcases like returnal already.

Xbox is sure to get some amazing looking exclusives as well but it’s less balanced than ps5.
 
As a follow up to X360 being the best, the Xbox One is probably the worst designed console of all time.

They wasted this much of their die for SRAM. this thing could have been a 30 core GPU monster. They did this so they could cheap out on DDR3. Which I think was done during the time when DDR3 ram was being supply squeezed to inflate prices so they didn't even reap the benefits of cheaper memory. In the end the system's dimensions we're huge, the console was significantly less powerful than the PS4, yet somehow more expensive, had poor launch titles, a very poorly coordinated worldwide launch, and initially designed to have disc-based DRM. Even the name sucked Xbone.



It’s been talked to death at this point but the reason xbox one used ddr3 was because it was the only way to guarantee 8gb ram early on, and Sony was going to have 4gb until a late change to 8gb.

Also what I find dumb is Xbox used Esram instead of edram which was less useful compared to xbox 360’s edram.

Blame Don Mattrick’s direction for the rest.
 

xiseerht

Member
Glad the Xbox One X is getting some love. The sound processing on the Sega Genesis was outstanding. I also feel we need to bring up the PS Vita if we are taking about great engineering .
 

cireza

Member
The Sega Master System/ Mark III was late in the game and basically a mid-gen console.
Okaaaay ? Still it was a very well designed console, same as the MegaDrive and then the Dreamcast, from SEGA.

The Neo Geo was also super impressive. PC Engine is another great pick.

Honestly, I find it difficult to pick certain consoles as most of them were well designed with specific ideas in mind.
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
I'd say the PC-Engine, it was released in 1987 in Japan, yet it held up all the way to 1994. It was not completely blown out of the water when the Genesis and SNES came along, the CD addon for it had amazing games for its time.
Arcade Card PC Engine even competed with Neo Geo and PlayStation.
 
Okaaaay ? Still it was a very well designed console, same as the MegaDrive and then the Dreamcast, from SEGA.

The Neo Geo was also super impressive. PC Engine is another great pick.

Honestly, I find it difficult to pick certain consoles as most of them were well designed with specific ideas in mind.
I think it's a great console, I just don't think it's the best engineered of its time considering the PC engine basically came out right after.
 
Kinda funny that the N64 releasing a year later is counted against it, Master System is similarly ignored for similar reasons, but then the SNES gets picked for its gen when it released 2 years after the Mega Drive. Considering it didn't blow SEGA's machine out of the water at a time technology was moving fast, I don't think the SNES was the best engineered console that gen

Funny isn't it. The Phat 60 and 20 GB PS3 has a built in PS1 and PS2, besides having the best exclusives and yet its never the best console for anyone. Its the best one yet. PS3 for President!

Always gets forgotten but, even with PS2 removed, full PS1 BC stayed with the PS3 until the end. The super slim I picked up last year plays everything PS1 related I have on disc, doesn't look so hot on a 50" screen tho :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 

Esppiral

Member
Game Gear
Master System
Super Nintendo
Playstation
Dreamcast
Xbox 360
Playstation 4
Xbox Series X
 
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Unknown?

Member

I totally agree that it is an amazing console from an engineering perspective, but it doesn't represent the original hardware so I guess I'm not counting it.
Why not? If you can count mid gen refreshes such as the One X, why not slim models?

I know what the facts are, but the only two consoles to ever fail me are the PS2 and PS3.

I still have a launch Xbox 360. I know about RROD but the reality is it was still a really good console for how was engineered and it just came down to a simple failing component in the soldering.
In the case of the 360, it was a known problem before it launched but they launched it anyway to get out long before Sony. If it were a simple oversight, I'd agree but it wasn't.
 
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Jaysen

Banned
360 definitely. Then PS4 Pro(I was so turned off by MS that gen, I never bothered with their consoles. So easy win for Sony despite making awful loud consoles). This gen is easily the Series X for me. An amazingly powerful yet completely silent design.
 

Holammer

Member
Let me state for the record that I'm a Nintendo fanboy all day.

But yes, PS1 over N64. It came out a year earlier and pushed as many polygons if not more. It also did 2D games which the N64 for some reason never got much. And it was hamstrung by the cartridge format which didn't allow it for the bigger games that were coming out in that era.

I agree that the Wii was special but from our standpoint of technology it was kind of lackluster and just gave us some controls that were different but didn't end up being the way that we control things now. I really do miss some of those innovations and it was probably one of the most innovative consoles if not the most innovative cons of all time. But I'm talking about the actual hardware and what it brought to the table. Not just then but now. We don't use those types of controls now.
Correct. N64 and Wii were evolutionary dead ends.
Wii in particular spurred the competition to try to copy the motion control stuff (Kinect & Playstation Move), only to later understand it sucked balls and nobody wanted to play that way. Other factors made the Wii sell.

The PS1 lacked many of the fancy features of the N64, but it held its own just fine because it pushed twice the amount of polygons.
 
Let's talk about the generations of video game consoles and the engineering of the hardware respective of the time...

First Generation is actually Pong machines.

I say the Coleco Telstar series and Nintendo Color TV game systems take this one IMO

2nd Gen:

Atari 2600
Intellivision

I'm open to other options, but the Atari 2600/VCS gets my vote.

3rd Gen:

NES/Famicom
SG1000/Colecovision
Atari 7800
MSX

I choose the NES/Famicom. Released in July 1983, it was vastly superior to it's contemporaries in regards to videogames both in graphics, audio, and cost. The Sega Master System/ Mark III was late in the game and basically a mid-gen console.

4th Gen:

PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16
Genesis/MegaDrive
SNES
NEOGEO
Maybe the CDi lol

I say SNES. It boasted colors, audio, effects, and affordability above the competition. Again, the games show this IMO.

5th Gen:

3DO
Atari Jaguar
PS1
N64
Saturn

I say the PS1. It offered the power and storage to deliver the games of the time. Look at the library and success. Yeah, the N64 was more powerful, but it came out more than a year later and was hamstringed by low storage.

6th Gen:

Dreamcast
PS2
Gamecube
Xbox

I say Gamecube. The most powerful per dollar by far. Great conversion, library, and the architecture was so good they decided to use it twice.

7th Gen:

Wii
Xbox 360
PS3

I say the 360. Released a year ahead of it's contemporaries and was the best third party machine due to development ease and amazing capabilities. Also, the best online console to date by far.

8th Gen:

PS4
Xbox One
PS4Pro
Xbox One X
Wii U

This is a weird gen to me. Mid gen refreshes. Based on the originally released hardware... PS4 was the best designed and positioned perfectly from the capabilities to cost. More for less. But the Xbox One X is one of the best engineered consoles I've ever held and I rode the last end of the gen on that. Quiet, cool, powerful and the best versions of games til recently.

9th Gen:

Switch
PS5
Xbox Series X

The Switch is the most capable portable console of all time (I'm not including tablets and phones.... they are not consoles/ dedicated game hardware). And I'm not sure about the PS5 vs Xbox Series X... seems too early to tell. I think the Series X is physically designed better than the PS5, it's features are better as far as BC and online IMO, but this comparison has yet to really unfold. They are the same price, they are similar in power, and I am not sure what system will be better in the end. From an engineering standpoint.... what will be the easiest to develope for when the tools develope, what will have more capabilities, etc. The Switch is another beast altogether...

Up in the air for me.

Thoughts?

BTW.... NOT your favorite console of each gen, but the best designed/engineered on the basis of these factors:
1) Power
2) Cost
3) Development
4) Capabilities
5) Time Frame
I would not put the Xbox360 in second place in the 7th generation, but the PS3, it had wifi a bluray drive and was technical much better than the Xbox360.
The whole almost 25% RRoD debacle was not a example for technical marble.
So i disagree with you.
For this generation its the PS5, Mark Cerny and his team build a very well tought true hardware with technical innovations. And the same you can say about the controler.
 

Romulus

Member
Yeah I don't understand the 360 love in this thread. And I'm someone who thinks its chipset was crazy powerful at launch and more capable than ps3, simply from a more well rounded standpoint. But in terms of overall engineering? it was a disaster. Reliability is a key factor in good engineering.

I would honestly say the 7th gen was the worst ever. PS3 wasn't even that reliable either. And its chipset was straight-up trash unless you had the best devs in the world throwing millions of dollars at it, and even then it took years just to get average-looking multiplatforms and good-looking exclusives.
 
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I don't get how the X360 is being considered the "best engineered console" of the 7th-gen when an engineering flaw in that console cost Microsoft over $1B in warranty replacements and refunds.
Perhaps there's some lack of understanding on what "engineered" actually means here?


Here's what Robbie Bach, the head of Xbox during the X360 era, had to say about the X360 in his book called "Xbox Revisited":
The Xbox 360 was doomed from the start. Bach says the problem ultimately boiled down to focusing on design first and engineering second. More specifically, Microsoft had a shell in mind, a certain aesthetic it wanted for the Xbox 360, and it was the engineering team's responsibility to fit all the parts inside. This is most definitely a common pitfall for many high tech companies, with respect to industrial design.


In terms of CPU+GPU architectures and performance I do agree it was the best console of its generation. Getting 3 of Cell's PPE in parallel together with ATi's R500 that was the first-ever implementation of unified shaders (ATi's own GPUs with unified shaders would only appear almost 2 years later) got them excellent results, especially when compared to the PS3's frankenstein mix of a forward-looking CPU focused on FP throughput and an old DX9 GPU.

But processing architecture and performance is not what engineered usually refers to.
 
I agree that it was one hell of a kit. That's a tough gen for me to decide, but I still think the SNES really lasted the longest and gave us the best experiences based on it's hardware. But yeah, 1987 versus 1990 right?
That's the thing, I can see both... One could argue that the Genesis did well also, mostly for its sprite handling prowess and great sound chip (before sampled sounds).
Xbox 360 had roughly a 40-50% failure rate, depending on which survey you look at. PS3 for that gen, given what it was capable of. Probably overengineered though.
Yup, the idea behind the 360 was very elegant, architecture wise it packed a lot of punch in a reasonably priced package.

That being said, they screwed up big time with the reliability... So no.

I agree with you on the PS3.

I'd say that for the simplicity the Wii wins then? What a shame of a console generation.
 

Kilau

Member
You can't discount the Sega Master System and then include the mid gen refreshes from last gen.
 
You can't discount the Sega Master System and then include the mid gen refreshes from last gen.
Yeah I've been a hypocrite a little bit here I admit. I'm just having fun with the idea and it's tough to kind of parse out these generations. It just came out so much later than the hardware that the NES was based on AKA the Famicom. Sega had a system that released day and date in Japan with the Famicom and that was the SG 1000. That's why I didn't include it.
 
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