While the gaming sector knows quite a bit about the internal workings of Sony’s next-gen contender, not much is known about it’s angular exterior; but a recent interview with the man who designed the PS4 reveals the origins of the console’s aesthetics.
Sony has been quite open about the PlayStation 4’s internal components and specifications, allowing dozens of sources to glean raw data on the console’s graphics, clock speeds, and many other technical attributes. Millions of gamers around the globe have spent time analyzing the PS4’s sleek aesthetics, but to get the full story on how that angular design came to fruition, we must go to the man who shaped the console.
In a recent interview with PlayStation Blog, Tetsu Samii, the designer of the PlayStation 4, recounted his experience with molding one of the most striking consoles in the history of gaming.
At the beginning of the PS4’s design process, Sony wanted to create a flagship design that not only represented the iconic PlayStation brand, but to re-define it as well:
“When we started the product design for PS4, we didn’t start by thinking about what the shape would be. It was more about how we were going to create a new brand identity through the product,” Samii reminisces.
The chief designer of UX Platform Design Group went on to reveal that the initial concepts for the PS4 were “totally different” than the current look, but unfortunately he didn’t elaborate on the differences. Both the early concepts and final design had something in common though: they both reflected Sumii’s emphasis on simplicity, which remained his key design philosophy on how the PS4 should look.
“I just wanted to make a simple object for the living room. Sometimes products are a little too exaggerated. It should be simple. That’s my thinking,” the designer continued.
The PS4’s finalized form factor will definitely make it a fixture for any living room, and its sable contours will no-doubt accentuate any space.
While things needed to be simple in form and design, Sumii believed the console should be appealing from every angle–from side to side and front to back, it needed to reflect a consistent style.
“I think about the horizontal, not just the vertical,” he says. “I think about the 360 degree view. The reverse should be beautiful, too.”
The PS4’s design reflects Sony’s traditional style while incorporating its own new look that’s accentuated not only by the console’s outward exterior, but also the controller and other accessories. All of these products manifest Sony’s newly fashioned PlayStation identity, which has been re-vamped for the next generation of console gaming:
“One of my tasks is to create one single PlayStation identity,” Sumii recounted. “I wasn’t just thinking about the console but also about the DualShock 4, the DualShock 4 Charging Station, the Vertical Stand, the Mono headset, PS Vita — everything.
“I think the PlayStation brand image needs to be changed a little bit, as it’s a new console, and we have to show what we’re pointing towards for the future. So I thought it should be one of the most smart, cool, and intelligent products from Sony. Not just from Sony Computer Entertainment, but the company as a whole.
“This should be one of the best, coolest, most sophisticated products we’ve created. That’s what we were striving for,” he says in regards to the newly established PlayStation brand.
The new PlayStation brand is certainly distinct, but fans can still see the shades of past consoles–like the PS2–within the design of the next-gen console. Sumii’s design is striking and memorable, but remains simple in its trapezoidal form and midnight hue.
It would definitely be interesting to see the early concepts of the PS4–one could only guess how varied and strange they look, and perhaps they match some of the more elaborate reconstructions that were often seen before Sony revealed the PS4’s finalized form.
The console’s aesthetics have certainly played a role in Sony’s current lead in the next-gen war, but Sony’s focus on putting gamers first as well their campaign on open communication with the gaming sector have been the main contributing factors to the company’s success.
The PS4’s specs and additional content like the cloud-based Gaikai, the cross-platform PlayStation App, and Remote Play functionality with the PS Vita sweeten the pot quite a bit, giving Sony just enough momentum that it might conquer Microsoft in the months to come.
Via PlayStation Blog