Sunday, 10 January 2010

Games Technology

Games technology has improved dramatically in just over 10 years not only in the way games have become more complex and graphically more impressive but also in the way the consoles and even handheld consoles have had a lot of thought put into the design. Consoles had always been seen as something like a PC so should be built for purpose, though home use of consoles started to demand the need for more ergonomic and stylised finish that would be appealing in the home. Also making something visually appealing automatically gives the buyer an attraction to the product and adds the feeling that they would buy it over another console just on an aesthetic quality.

On the other hand designers can go to far with their quest on making something aesthetically unique and ergonomic. A good example is the first design of the PS3 controller with the weird and supposedly better more comfortable design for the user to hold, though it’s a weird boomerang shape. It seemed too weird for a lot of gamers when they first saw it and started to put people off the console and so it was changed to a more streamlined version of the original PS2 controller. The only reason I saw the benefit of having a boomerang shaped controller is that when you get frustrated with a game and you launch the controller at the screen it immediately returns after circling the room in a graceful manner. Well Microsoft couldn’t have gotten any worse in the design than the original Xbox, that as the name stated was a huge box that weighed a ton and had a massive luminous green X on it. The controllers however improved dramatically, they got rid of the old black and white buttons that sat somewhere off the original controller and became shoulder buttons on the new controller. Also for people without tiny hands the larger size of the control pad made gaming easier, still not perfect but with time I think they’ll get there. Overall design has become a huge part of modern culture and controls the way we buy things so games console manufacturers will have to keep stepping up their designs in order to compete for the need of cool looking gadgets.