Every console in this generation has undergone some sort of redesign.
The Xbox 360 underwent drastic changes to fit into a shiny black number, the PS3 managed a miraculous weight loss that would have been worthy of reality TV if it were human, and a stripped-down, horizontally-inclined Wii launched to rather less fanfare at the end of last year.
The handhelds are at it too, and they’re arguably the worst offenders. Nintendo’s DS went under the knife four times over its lifecycle, topped only by the PlayStation Portable, which has been available in five different versions.
Often a redesign is best for both the gamers and the manufacturers. Not everyone is going to love the initial design that ships day one and with parts and manufacturing costs getting smaller and smaller, it just makes sense to start cramming more into the same space or trimming the fat altogether.
With the larger than life Nintendo 3DS XL out in the open and rumours of a significantly slimmer PlayStation 3 on the production line, we’ve picked out five of the console redesigns that did everything right.
Nintendo DS Lite (launched June 2006)
Back in 2005, things looked uncertain in Nintendo and Sony’s war for handheld dominance. The original Nintendo DS, despite a wealth of software, was an ugly silver sandwich that was still battling for supremacy over Sony’s new PSP.
Drastic measures were taken. The dual-screened portable was taken back to the drawing board in June 2006, and the DS Lite was rolled out.
A sleeker revision, the DS Lite had it all: bigger screens, longer battery life, comfy thicker stylus, and a design that was nice to look at.
The sacrifice? The GameBoy Advance cartridges stuck out a few centimetres (Nintendo would later tear backwards compatibility out of the system with the DSi). But despite that, the DS Lite didn’t just win the fight – it won the war.