Buying a video game console at launch is almost always a bad idea. Not only are you faced with high costs, hardware issues, and a low variety of software to play, you also have to make peace with the fact that a new, sexier version of that same hardware will be released down the road. Pretty much every console gets at least one redesign over the course of its lifetime in order to help refresh sales or simply improve flaws in the original hardware. However, like most things, not every console redesign is created equal and some are best left forgotten (remember the PSP GO? Of course you don’t). Today I’d like to highlight the best console redesigns and even try to come to a decision regarding which one is the best overall.
Note: I’ve decided not to include the PS4 Pro on this list because it’s really more of a half step generational leap than a traditional redesign and arguably an unnecessary one at that.
Sometimes, a good console redesign can get by on looks alone. Such is the case with the PS One, a smaller version of the original PlayStation released on July 7, 2000. Featuring a much slimmer profile than the original PlayStation model and switching the color palette from grey to a much more appealing off-white, the PS One is easily the best PlayStation model Sony put out … at least on a purely aesthetic level. Technically, the PS One is lacking features compared to earlier models, as Sony removed the parallel and serial ports from the back of the console and also got rid of the reset button (the power button is labelled as a reset button too, but actually resetting the console requires turning it off completely).
While some PlayStation purists swear by the original console design because of these features, I think a smaller physical footprint and sleeker design outweighs the lack of ports that barely anyone actually used or the removal of a redundant button. Plus, the PS One was technically a portable console if you sprung for the 5″ attachable LCD screen that Sony released alongside it.