The critical consensus on the PlayStation 4 (including our own) has been positive so far, but how does the next-gen console fare when a group of design experts take a stab at reviewing it? Fast Company gave Teague, the design consultancy behind the original Xbox, a platform to share its thoughts on the PS4 from a design perspective. The results were decidedly mixed.
Teague introduces the first new system of the holiday season as “a beautiful console,” giving Sony props for the console’s compact design, the elegant horizontal and vertical orientation options, the matte and gloss separation, and the redistribution of venting to the back of the device. The team even notes the subtle and attractive light bar, a favorable step forward from the blinking LED indicators on the PS3.
On the other hand, the finishes on both the glossy and textured surfaces give off the undesirable effect of “a premium price tag on a (seemingly) less than premium product.” Other questionable choices include the placement of the disc drive on the left side of the console rather than the right, where the drive was placed on the PS2 and PS3, and the slanted body, which makes accessing the back of the console “unnecessarily difficult.”
Teague admits that many of these design flaws will be forgiven by gamers who think Sony is offering a worthwhile gaming experience, but even that might be tainted by a “much improved controller” that Teague nonetheless believes creates a design disconnect with the console and thus creates a permanent smudge on the shiny PlayStation 4.