With the introduction of the Nintendo 2DS, it's the perfect time to reminisce about peculiar-looking hardware released by the three major video game console manufacturers -- Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo -- since the year 2000.
Nintendo shocked the gaming world Wednesday with the Nintendo 2DS -- a budget-friendly, non-3D alternative to its popular Nintendo 3DS handheld -- by abandoning the hinged-design used in every portable Nintendo gaming device since the Game Boy Micro. The radical 2DS redesign inspired CNET commenters to call the device names such as "hideous," "atrocious monstrosity," and well, other colorful adjectives.
Who can forget Microsoft's big splash into the gaming world with the Xbox? Unfortunately, the gaming gizmo wasn't much of a looker, but that didn't stand in the way of the console's success. The first Xbox and its bulky controller look completely bloated in comparison to its successors, which sport much slimmer, sleeker designs. In fact, the original Xbox controller was so bulky that Microsoft eventually switched to a smaller design (Controller S, seen above) that proved much more popular. Thank goodness Microsoft eventually toned down that tacky "X" branding!
There are few things more odd than Sony's PlayStation Move controller -- a black stick with a glowing multicolored LED ball at the end. Especially when you're frantically waving it in front of a television.
When the Sony PlayStation Vita arrived with dual analog joysticks, it sent waves through the community of hard-core gamers who had always desired that feature in a powerful portable gaming device. In response, Nintendo launched an accessory, called the Circle Pad Pro, that latches onto the 3DS and gives that second joystick experience. The jury is still out on how that Frankenstein combo actually looks, though.
As online gaming proliferated in the late 2000s and more people started communicating over gaming consoles, Microsoft and Sony released keyboard accessories for their respective game controllers. Unfortunately, these useful add-ons make both controllers look quite weird.
There are countless video game accessories out there, but the Pokewalker perfectly fits the criteria of an odd gaming device created by one of the big three video game manufacturers. This unusual pedometer, bundled with every copy of Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver for Nintendo DS, alters the Pokemon game based on the owner's real-world movement. It also serves as a storage container for Pokemon captured in the video game.
When it came time to create the PlayStation 3, Sony's design gurus felt it was "vital that the case be able to outshine plain, boxy computers and AV equipment." While the PlayStation 3 certainly differed from any gaming console ever released prior, it inspired a range of criticism over its original, curvy design -- such as comments referring to it having a similar appearance to a George Foreman grill. In an attempt to sell a cheaper console, Sony's redesigned PS3 Slim completely abandoned the glossy, sophisticated look the company originally went for, but sadly, it looks quite boring. The PS3 Super Slim sort of serves as a strangely decent-looking mix of its predecessors, but some people aren’t too keen on that sliding disc tray.
Nintendo, already familiar with creating colorful gaming devices, went with a purple (or silver) scheme for its GameCube video game console. While the box-shape design isn't really that off-putting, the color scheme doesn't really work in any room except a kids' nursery and the controller looks better suited for an Octopus.
While not marketed exclusively as a PlayStation 3 accessory, Sony's HMZ-T1/HMZ-T2 OLED video headset will probably go down in history as a cool but strange-looking product made during that early phase before glasses-integrated displays took off.