Just curious, which system do you all see as Nintendo at their finest? They've really hit every extreme over the last 20 years, with chunky behemoths like the original GameBoy and the DS Phat to small little things like the GameBoy Micro. Which system do you personally believe features the best design ideas from comfort to aesthetics?
For my money, the DS Lite is Nintendo's best work. It is sleek, minimalistic and practical like the GBA SP design, and yet at the same time has a certain beauty provided by the glossy design (despite the fingerprints). It has it's problems -- hinge and D-Pad issues. But on the outside atleast, it's darn near perfect.
Despite me hardly using it, I think the Gameboy Micro is Nintendo's best designed handheld. The screen is pretty small, but everything looks really crisp. Plus the build quality is great - I love the metal backing it has, it gives it a really nice solid feel.
Although I've never owned one, the GB Micro is the best looking out of the bunch, might be a bit small to hold for some, I have massive hands and when I played one it wasn't bad at all. Plus the small screen makes the GBA games look great.
I'm voting purely on a comfort level here, and that goes to the original GBA. Future systems seemed to have pointy corners that digged into my palms, but the GBA's were rounded, much like the equally comfortable PSP. Furthermore, it didn't have clicky buttons which I less prefer and had nice large shoulder buttons. Although the consistently small d-pad on all of Nintendo's handhelds pisses me off.
Obviously new features like backlights come as standard in future models, so it's a bit unfair to rate them on their technology. So my comfort vote goes to the GBA.
To me, the best design is the one that you're the most comfortable when you play with it (and that has nothing to do with "looks").
Any console with a tiny D-Pad is essentially ruled out, and I suffered from this in recent years. The DS Phat for me as the most comfortable D-Pad ever on a handheld, but the System itself isn't very comfortable (I don't see myself playing Mario Kart DS on any other model though, snaking with a tiny D-Pad is a pain in the ***).
So I'd probably say the Game Boy Color. The D-Pad wasn't too small, while the edges were a bit rounded so that it didn't hurt your hands. But then it didn't have a backlit screen, which became synonym with comfort. So maybe the best design would be the GBA SP (because the D-Pad was still rather large compared to what we got on DS Lite an onwards), or the Game Boy Light, but I've never owned that one.
I'll vote GBA SP, just because of the added comfort of a backlit screen.
I loved that thing. It's the most portable in my eyes (except for maybe the Micro? Never used it so can't say for sure). I love the folding design. It's also not wide, unlike the DS and 3DS designs. When a DS is folded, you roughly have a Gameboy, just horizontal instead of vertical. It takes up about the same amount of space. The SP really compacted the space it took up.
As compact as it is, I still don't find it uncomfortable. I get uncomfortable from looking down before my hands get uncomfortable.
Bonus points for the backlight.
I still use my SP to play old Gameboy games and sometimes GBA games (I have a DS Phat for the GBA games, though). Great little system.
( Edited 17.09.2011 09:07 by TAG )
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TAG: That American Guy "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18
I agree with what people are saying with comfort being a strong factor, especially as the revised consoles only really brought better backlights/screens/smaller hardware (except for the XL).
I loved the original GBA's design and feel - the hardware was just about the right size, buttons, shoulders and D-pad were perfect. Did like the SP, especially the neat clam-shell approach and improved screen but the shoulder buttons and feel when opened was a bit odd/uncomfortable at times.
As for aesthetics and comfort, it's a toss-up between GBC and DS:Lite for me - both are great to hold, immensely portable and have neat curved edges. Yum!
Azuardo said: I'm voting purely on a comfort level here, and that goes to the original GBA. Future systems seemed to have pointy corners that digged into my palms, but the GBA's were rounded, much like the equally comfortable PSP.
Backing Azuardo 100% on this one. The convex shape of the back of the original Gameboy Advance makes it extremely comfortable in my opinion. No Nintendo handheld has had that since.
Yea, gotta go with GBA. It fits perfect in my hands, and aesthetically, it looks really slick. I couldn't stand the SP. Idk, to me it looked way too much like a laptop. GB Micro was also pretty sick, even though no one bought it.
It's a bit generous to call the Virtual Boy a "handheld".
The SP is one that I love as well. The clam shell design was nice, the screen brightness was just a wonderful feature at the time. It even managed to be comfortable to hold too despite the fact that it had reduced hand space compared with the GBA.
My only complaint against it would be that I think the hinge is a bit weak. The lack of a dedicated headphone port is kind of a big deal too.
but the shoulder buttons and feel when opened was a bit odd/uncomfortable at times.
That's true, the shoulder buttons were a bit awkward too. I'm pretty sure my L trigger was messed up -- I forget which game caused it. Maybe F-Zero?
I voted for the GBA SP because it's just really comfortable, for the most part. After some extremely long play sessions, it started feeling uncomfortable but I had that with all my handhelds so far. The shoulder buttons are indeed a bit weird. I remember when I was always spamming R to roll like a madman in Minish Cap, it felt pretty awkward.
I never owned a normal GBA, so I can't remember how that one felt like from when I got my hands on one many years ago.
GBA SP. I would say GB Micro but it wasn't big for me. In the figurative sense. i still have mine and it's cool but SP was the best for me. I loved the folding, the back light. It was practically the Grand Dad to the DS line... Almost.
It's a nice design and has a good build quality. Unlike the DS Lite it doesn't have any problems with the hinge cracking. It's portable, but but has a fairly big, bright screen so you can see things clearly. It has a camera and access to the internet plus e-shop.
I think DSi wins on most counts
PS: I would say 3DS if it wasn't for design issues, like the upper screen touching the base and scratching, the direction pad not being as good as the DSi's and it not quite looking as stylish.