Console revisions and everybody


Console revisions are just a thing that happens, and it’s usually either to cut costs or add more power. And sometimes both show up. However in either case the type I’m the least fan of is the one that removes features, but that usually falls under the cost-cutting category. Long story short, effectively just taping over the disc slot of a console isn’t really thinking things much. Even the PSP Go did more than that, but not really to much benefit. I did eventually get a second PSP after the first initial model, but not a Go, also since they’re harder to find given how they weren’t popular. I wanted to check out the addition of video out for the most part, but still possibly play discs even if that might be touchy.

Depending on what a revision brings, I’m not typically jumping on it. I really only consider it if I’m wanting to get one in the first place, otherwise the one I already have better work for everything I want it to. When it comes to the more powerful revisions having exclusives, I just hope they’re not too numerous or might just be a re-release of something I’ve already got. Meanwhile a lot of other people are eager to trade in and manage some weird dance routine where they have to transfer the saves without losing them, whether or not they have a cloud option. The main deal is how trade-ins work at certain stores, where they’d expect you to turn in the old console for full value off of the new one. All because the last model is just slightly not powerful enough so they need to see it in 8K but still not at 60 FPS.

Looking at revisions, I’ve noticed a lot over time. Sometimes the change is more subtle on the outside but something major changed, like with the Wii. Eventually they removed GameCube compatibility from the Wii but still kept the basic form factor, the main outward difference being how the front is printed, and maybe a change to the ports on the top or side since it wouldn’t need the memory card slots. Then after that they made it even smaller to effectively make it separate from anything that wasn’t a Wii disc game and Wii controller, a difference made even more obvious. Given that the Wii Shop Channel was starting in the slow process of closing down alongside the Wi-Fi Connection, that was probably the main motivation. But essentially it ends up like the Game Boy Micro, a tiny Game Boy Advance that only plays GBA games and that’s it. Not even a link cable. But at least it had a headphone jack, unlike the SP which pretty much went the predating Apple route of requiring an adapter in the charging port to get one instead. A backlit Game Boy that has everything I’m asking for is pretty much just going to be the Game Boy Player, second closest is the SP. But I didn’t upgrade past the regular launch type of GBA until the DS, though I did also get the Player.

The 3DS was a totally weird thing, since it started as a smaller model about the size of the starting DS, but they made a bigger one called the 3DS XL, which was when I started on the system. Then they went and made a 2DS, a piece of toast that was meant for really low cost and ditched things like 3D feature that was a selling point in the first place, plus even the hinge. Then they came out with the “New” 3DS as well as the “New” 3DS XL, and even expected people to upgrade since in a lot of cases they didn’t even come with chargers, and not being a standard USB or otherwise to charge, that seemed a bit annoying. In the US, they didn’t even launch the non-XL “New” 3DS until later, but managed to pack in the charger at least for the time. And then on top of that, they made the “New” 2DS XL, which now has a hinge and everything else the “New” 3DS has except for the 3D feature, because apparently at this point everyone just gave up on that feature, even though it is a pretty cool feature. They really just wanted to force as much power out of the system as they can, and not rendering each frame twice in a way is a way to cut back, in exchange of losing one of the initial selling points of the family in the first place. Meanwhile, I stuck with the 3DS XL, because the exclusives weren’t selling me, plus whatever games barely ran on the original 3DS lines outside of Pokémon didn’t interest me either. And Pokémon is a turn-based RPG, so frames aren’t so crucial there, but they’d really need to learn about how big screens actually are before settling on way-too-high-res models without some sort of level-of-detail feature. No idea how it’s going to work on the Switch games, but hopefully well.

Revisions which just reduce the size without really sacrificing much are nice to save more on materials and shelf space, provided heat flow is managed correctly. The PS3 went through two reductions, but unfortunately also removed backwards compatibility with PS2 as well as the possibility to run Linux stuff without much effort by that point. To have all those features, it would take a very specific launch model and possibly also a specific firmware. For some weird reason, the PS3 of any type can still play PS2 games from the online store, which probably had at least a little bit of work done to emulate more. However they can all play PS1 games since that was just emulated from the start. I know there’s mods to unlock the PS2 compatibility for disc games as well, but that can apparently be touchy. Now there’s the PS4, which comes in slim and “Pro” versions, but plays no previous games outside of online store rebuilds and their streaming service. There haven’t been Pro-exclusive games that I know of, but I’d think that development at this point is largely targeting the Pro, since I’ve heard of slowdown on launch and slim type models. Yet at a glance at side by side comparison, I see no difference, then again I haven’t blessed my home with the glory of 4K. When I’m making $4K a day, maybe, but it would still be low on the list.

The PS2 however was a pretty dramatic change. It went from about the average DVD player size (also working as a DVD player) to about as big as a DVD case. The internals were reworked a fair bit, but dropped things like the hard drive slot which was used for not very much outside of getting patches for MMOs and maybe a couple other things, I’m not even sure if games could be saved or archived to it from memory cards. I was a pretty late adopter of the PS2, though, so that was my option, plus at that point I wasn’t really doing any online gaming. I hardly do so today, but I dabble here and there at times. Also, the PS1 had a major makeover as well, becoming the PSOne, a really smooth console that they wanted to sell on the portability angle by having screens that attach to it as well. Not sure if they marketed a battery pack for it, but I’m sure the third parties did.

So while everyone’s hoping for some kind of Switch Pro at this point while also speculating on a lighter package that removes the dock and maybe something else, I just still fairly recently got my Switch and I’m sticking with that one. And whenever the PS5 comes out, maybe, just maybe, I might get a PS4, Pro or not, though I’ll probably still lack the 4K TV and just hope that it routes the extra power into framerate.