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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Do you think Nintendo has some of the most iconic hardware designs?

In the world of gaming, character is important. Not just with actual game characters, but also console design. Gaming hardware with a distinctive and instantly recognizable look goes a long way in making a gaming platform a success. Nintendo's consoles over the years have had various designs and looks to them. But one thing I think Nintendo always nailed with hardware design, was creating a very distinctive and instantly recognizable look for its products.

Let's take the Nintendo DS for example.

It's vertical Dual Screens arrangement, clamshell design, stylus and SNES style button layout gives the system an immediately understandable character that's hard to replicate. Just by looking at it, you can instantly tell what it is, and what its main features are.

Or how about the Nintendo Switch. The promo material from the initial 2016 reveal used grey colored Joy-Con controllers.

But I think the Neon Blue and Red Joy-Con that the system ended up launching with really helped add a lot of character to the Switch's design, practically becoming the default colors of the system.

The Switch immediately stands out with this look. It's quirky, sleek, and also functional highlighting that these are not only detachable controllers, but the mismatched colors also symbolize the built-in two player support with each color representing player one and player two respectively.

Going back further with the NES, it's controller is an iconic relic of the 80s that still somehow retains a timeless design, even today.

It's a dead simple design, but one that's also instantly understandable to new and old-school gamers alike.

I'm sure there's other examples, and creating iconic gaming hardware isn't restricted to Nintendo alone. But I do think its one aspect that they've consistently nailed with their platforms.

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I won't make any definitive list or order.

Atari 2600



Genesis Model 1







Game Boy

Game & Watch



Neo Geo

PC Engine

ZX Spectrum


I'd say those are the most iconic consoles by design and success either/Cultural/important/region/worldwide.

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

In terms of design, I'd say no. The NES is iconic (US version), but even that isn't a particularly good design.

An interesting poll would be: Which is the best looking console? Nothing stands out to me in the same way as a Super car, or the Statue of Liberty does.

All the main consoles are iconic in their own right. Most of us would recognize any of them or at least their controller by the silhouette alone.






I think Nintendo is the most iconic, for good and sometimes for bad. The N64, GC, Wii and Wii U were all very non standard in look (including controllers).


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RTX 4090 Ventus 3x E OC

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I do think Nintendo has some of the most interesting designs overall (whether that be good or bad). For example, the look of the GameCube stands out more than the look of the PS2, even though the PS2 made its way into far more homes. Miyamoto's degree was in Industrial Design, and he probably had a decent amount of input into most (or all) of these system's designs.

Of all those in the game hardware business, Nintendo's is the most iconic by far. It's a double-edged sword, though. Some are thought of us as ugly, even if they're memorable.
Just to think of some with a variety of perceptions.
NES: VCR (a small one in those days, though)
SNES (NA): Toy Robot Head
Virtual Boy: Weird goggles on legs
GameCube: Kids Lunchbox
GBA SP: Compact, clamshell
Game Boy Micro: Tiny!
DS Lite and DSi: Sleek, clamshell design
Wii Mini: Cheap and small
2DS: Slab or slice of toast
Switch: Angular, sleek hybrid

Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 161 million (was 73 million, then 96 million, then 113 million, then 125 million, then 144 million, then 151 million, then 156 million)

PS5: 115 million (was 105 million) Xbox Series S/X: 48 million (was 60 million, then 67 million, then 57 million)

PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima

I’d say they have a different style that’s unique. But I’d say the only designs they made that were actually “Cool” are the NES and the Switch. We all have different tastes. My taste is sleek with a bit of danger in it. Everything in between those to consoles was a bulky plastic toy. Other console companies have done a way better job of making their systems look cool, sleek, and dangerous.

Having said that, I really liked the way GameCube looked. It was ripe for ridicule but it was like the R2-D2 of consoles. Very friendly design. 

I still think the Nintendo 64 console itself looks good, definitely looks better than the majority of modern consoles.

Came in a myriad of additional colour options as well.

--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

They have some nice designs, but for me Atari 2600 is still on top: