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Gameverse | July 7, 2020

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PlayStation 5’s Design and the Ugliest Game Consoles Ever

Matthew Byrd

The reveal of the PlayStation 5 design has inspired a…passionate reaction. While not ever response to the console’s looks is negative, there are some who are being very vocal about their displeasure. Some are even calling it one of the ugliest consoles ever.

However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While the PlayStation 5 may not be the best looking console ever, it’s pretty far from the worst looking.

To help prove that point, we’ve rounded up some of the ugliest consoles ever in order to show just how bad things could have been.

Intellivision

Even if you get past the ’70s colors and wood-grain panel, the Intellivision would make this list by virtue of its corded controllers.

Other retro consoles of this era have a retro charm, but this thing was kind of ugly even for its time. It certainly hasn’t gotten better looking over the years.

Telstar Arcade

The Telestar Arcade tried to bring the arcade experience to your living room. Instead, it ended up looking like something a doctor would have to remove from an arcade cabinet in order to save its life.

At least this console comes with a gun you can shoot it with. That’s certainly convenient.

Atari Jaguar CD

The Atari Jaguar was never a looker, but the console’s CD expansion secured its place in the ugly video game console hall of fame.

Nothing says “low-tech” more than a CD-player add-on that looks like it was made in your friend’s dad’s garage. The Jaguar’s ugly controller didn’t help its case.

Master System 2

If you told us the Master System 2’s design was the result of an executive accidentally picking up a half-way done sketch from the design team, we’d believe you.

Not only does this console’s design lack personality, but its font makes Comic Sans look like a reasonable style choice.

The Mega-CD 32X Mega Drive

Here we see another example of why console hardware add-ons died sometime during the 1990s.

While the Sega CD add-on was ugly enough, that 32X attachment is just unforgivable. It’s like burning a steak and trying to put a slice of cheese on top to save it.

Nintendo 2DS

You caught us: the 2DS wasn’t a console. What it was, though, was one of the ugliest pieces of gaming hardware ever shipped to store shelves.

Everything about the Nintendo 2DS screams “cheap.” This is a monolith to budget consumer compromises that would have made Apple blush. Even if this was just a toy, it would still be an ugly toy.

Pikachu Nintendo 64

We’re a little torn on this one. On the one hand, the blue and yellow color scheme is nice. Even that Pokeball is kind of neat.

On the other hand…wow, that Pikachu. Not only does the design of the Pikachu mean that it stands out in the worst way, but the Pikachu also quite literally stands out due to its raised design. There’s no dignified way to display this in a living room.

Philips CDi

Granted, the Phillips CDi could have been the best-looking console ever, and we’d still advise you to never be in the same room with one just to be safe.

However, the fact that the Philips CDi is just a particularly ugly VCR really seals its fate. Do you know how some animals have bright colored exteriors to indicate that they’re poisonous? This is the dull consumer product version of that.

Magnavox Odyssey

This is one of those designs that’s so outdated it’s actually kind of neat, but the Odyssey is still one ugly console.

With its “tubing” cords and temple-like top, the Odyssey looks like a piece of medical equipment from a hospital nobody survived in. This console could actually drive down the property value of your home.

Xbox

We’ve got to give the original Xbox points for truth in advertising. The console was a giant box with an equally giant X on it.

Of course, that’s kind of the problem here. The Xbox not only lacked style, but it was competing with two consoles (the PS2 and GameCube) that were either incredibly good looking or, at least, unique. By comparison, Microsoft was selling…well…an X box.