Experience Points: Please Stop Glossy Console Design
This needs to be said. There is an an epidemic affecting the console industry and it is glossy plastic. This week has been all about E3, and now you might be thinking of investing in one of the new consoles, be it a PS4 or Xbox One. But why do these consoles have to use glossy plastic in their design, and as part of their outer-shells.
I understand that the major console manufacturers have some unwritten law that because glossy plastic is trendy and used in all types of entertainment devices and appliances, that consoles should follow suit. It is quite obvious that we have a glossy console complex because of design choices which are affected by the philosophy that the latest consoles should fit seamlessly into our entertainment systems and set-ups. They should look like our Blu-ray players, SMART LED TVs, our PVR decoders and all the technology which satisfies our daily entertainment needs. But to be perfectly blunt I’m sick and tired of glossy consoles.
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We’ve gone through iterations of glossy console design with the Xbox 360 Slim which originally had a terrible glossy fingerprint prone finish and the original fat PS3, as well as the super slim PS3. In my opinion, the matte slim PS3 and matte Xbox 360 Slim are two great examples of aesthetically pleasing consoles, with great matte finishes that make cleaning and maintenance a breeze. Why do consoles need have areas with a glossy finish, or be covered in a glossy plastic?
The reality is pretty simple a glossy console may look great in marketing, advertising and photographs; however, when it comes to the actual experience of using such a console on a day-to-day basis maintenance may become a bit of an irritation. Let us take the PS4 as a prime example, the console has a glossy finish in the area covering the hard drive. The glossy finish on the PS4 is extremely quick in collecting dust, picking up fingerprints easily and even picking up scratches without little contact. The Xbox One also has a glossy section which I assume will share many of the problems that glossy finishes do when it comes to technology.
When you are using a console on a daily basis, a glossy finish means you’ll constantly be cleaning the damn thing. That’s of course if you’re concerned with the appearance of the console and also don’t enjoy your gaming-related peripherals and consoles gathering dust. I sure don’t enjoy my PS4 looking like it has been assaulted by a dust storm. Truly it just boggles my mind why such design choices were made, and if it comes down to aesthetics for console manufacturers, then they obviously don’t envision people actually playing their consoles.
I’ve seen many forum posts concerning the plight of gamers who have to deal with the abhorrent glossy finish present in current consoles, a trend which doesn’t seem to want to die out. Of course, one could argue that you could easily customise your console with a vinyl skin, but for me that would be an unnecessary step. Console manufacturers should just stop with the gloss. Matte is so much better and helps to keep the appearance of a console mint for a longer period of time. I don’t care if the console looks nice and shiny for marketing purposes with the gloss finish. I want it to look nice and shiny in my home.