To me the appearance of a game console is something of an art – well, a lost art. Console design has been languishing these past several years, as every console maker opts to release piano black or ivory white slabs that exclaim ‘adult contemporary’. Gone are the colorful palettes and unique designs that game consoles were once known for.
And the latest Wii U is no different. Enlisting some Cupertino-inspired design cues made for huge design strides over it’s Wii predecessor. However it’s still a bit flawed and generic in my opinion. So I made some changes:
1. This is the most important addition – the Nintendo logo. I’ve never seen a company forsake it’s logo like this. The Nintendo brand is a worldwide brand juggernaut, so it needs to be seen on the flagship product front-and-center. It’s probably stamped on the case elsewhere, but it needs to be on the fascia.
2. The disc slot is streamlined, because right now it looks like a weird mouth. My slot design is more conforming to the overall shape of the console, and doesn’t have that “pried open” or floppy disc slot vibe. Ask your parents what a floppy disc was.
3. Moved the Sync button closer to the left and changed its color. The current location is a bit too centered for my taste, drawing more attention than it should. Also I ditched the red as it just looks like a pimple on this smooth face. The blue is similar to the power indicator light, and compliments the grey and white scheme nicely.
4. Removed that large flap from the front, and opted for an Xbox 360-like panels that push inward for the USB and save card ports. If there was one thing I dislike about the Wii U design, it’s that unsightly flap. If it were up to me I’d move all these ports to the side (like the GameCube ports on the Wii), but for the sake of not re-inventing the wheel too much here, these push-panels will do. Instead of having one flap down to reveal 3 ports, these individual slots will not detract from the console’s appearance, especially if you’re only using one slot at any given a time.
I will be posting more Wii U Makeovers this next year until the console finally releases sometime in late 2012.