The lights are on
At the end of November, Nintendo announced the existence and Canadian launch of the new Wii Mini (pictured above). Console redesigns are nothing new, as they've been frequent occurrences for most popular systems. Take a look below to see the second (and sometimes third and fourth) comings of several consoles.
If you grew up playing NES, you were most likely using the model on the left. Considering that the top loader model (right) didn't debut until 1993, many gamers had already moved on to the 16-bit era of gaming. In addition to the new method of inserting game cartridges, it also introduced a new controller that resembled the shape of the one used for the SNES.
With a size that many compared to a brick, the original Game Boy was technically portable but certainly not ideal for pockets. The aptly named Game Boy Pocket rectified this problem with a drastically reduced size that was far better suited for on-the-go gaming. In addition to being smaller and lighter, it also took less batteries than its big brother.
Sega made several changes to the casing of the Genesis between the first and second versions, from changing the power switch to a button to omitting the volume slider. When the Genesis 3 (far right) was introduced in 1998 (well into the Playstation/Nintendo 64 era), it featured the low price of $49.99 and a dramatically smaller frame. Unfortunately for cheaters, this version was the only one that wasn't compatible with the Game Genie.
Like most of the console redesigns on this list, the SNS-101 model (right) of the Super Nintendo was smaller than its predecessor. It launched in October of 1997 for $99.95, and included either Yoshi's Island, A Link to the Past, Kirby Super Star, or Tetris Attack, depending on which retailer you purchased it from. In addition to the cosmetic changes, the redesign also eliminated the eject button.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
Personally I think the redesisgned PSone and the Xbox 360 Slim are the nicest (I would say even the PSP Go looked pretty nice as well, if it wasn't utter crap...I would know, I got suckered into buying one :P).
Wow, it's crazy to think that I've had all of these systems/handhelds and most of the revamped versions as well. I remember getting the original gameboy shortly after it came out for Christmas when I was 3 years old. I was blasting old school Donkey Kong like it was no ones business. Hell, I still have my SNES and mini PS1. If I still had the cords, I bet they would still work, cause they use to make them to last. Good times.
I totally forgot how many of the consoles went through all these redesigns. Thanks for the feature Dan!
These are some pretty cool redesigns that were made for consoles. I'm just wondering how a Wii U redesign would look after seeing how drastic of a redesign it was for the Wii recently.
And this isn't even counting the original Japanese releases or prototypes of some of these consoles. Man, those things looked strange.
I pointed out pretty much all of these when GI put up their original "Wii Mini" article, and sounded dumbfounded at the idea of a redesigned Wii, as if such a thing had never occurred before.
I should probably get the Xbox 360 redesign.
I still have the 1st original PS3 design. And it can also play newer PS3 games with more software.
One time when I was on vacation, and I forgot to turn it off, I thought I'd get the YLOD just like everyone else.
But when I got back, my PS3 is still running perfectly!!!! *Sigh*. I seriously wish I was still home right now, playing my cool PS3 (1st design), and earning trophies.
The PGP Go was the worst re-design of a console to date.
Hey, where are the redesigns of the Atari 2600? The 6-switch original, the 4-switch version, the Sears version, the later Atari 7800-like redesign...?
The redesigned Intellivision?
The multiple Saturns? The two Sega CD models? The Master System models?
The multiple 3DO's?
Absolutely loved the top loader Nintendo, eliminated the need for blowing the cartridge. Favorite technique on the old model Nintendo was to insert the game and then put your finger on the indent on the top to “waggle” it back and forth until you stopped getting those great flashing screens. Good times.
Critical point about Genesis 3, not compatible with Sega CD = no Sewer Shark.
Great blog showing the history of the modern video game console. It was nice to take a short yet detailed trip down memory lane for a few moments.