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Building the next consoles: design

Design is becoming increasingly important in consumer electronics. People want their DVD player, console or HiFi to look good as well as do its job. Quality of design can make or break a product and it’ll be a big part of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft’s development process.

Let’s take an example of the importance of design – Apple. The iMac basically saved the company from financial ruin. It was a colourful, curvy computer in a world of dull, beige boxes. Apple have gone from strength to strength and the current range of hardware is stunning. From the revolutionary iMac to the awesome Powermacs, the design is consistantly beautiful.

I admit that I’ve become a real fan of Apple design since I got my iPod a few months back. It’s just such a great looking and functional machine. It just shows how making your product desirable will make people buy it, even for a higher price than usual.

Look at the GBA SP. OK, it’s not as stunning as Apple designs, but it’s certainly a neat piece of kit. Although only £40 cheaper than an Xbox, people are buying it buy the lorry-load.

How the ‘big three’ will design their next consoles is unknown, but it’s bound to be a big issue behind the scenes. Let’s just say that if Apple released a console, I’d be out there on launch day to get one.

And that ends my mini-series on the next gaming systems. I may not have covered every little aspect of design and I’ve had to guess a few things, but I think it’s given you a fairly good idea of what’s instore for us come 2006. When they’re finally revealed, it’s going to be amazing and we’ll be here to bring you all the latest news. The future of gaming is just around the corner…

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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