Dedicated to the weird and wonderful history of games consoles.
Upon launch Sony’s sequel to its hugely popular Playstation evolved significantly over its predecessor in design. Uniquely gamers had the option to place the unit flat or stand it proudly upright with a vivid blue triangular stand, paving the way for others to follow. One might imagine that a team of designers spent huge amounts of time honing the look of the Playstation 2 … Or did they just ‘jack it from Atari?
It seems that Sony owes a significant debt of gratitude for the design of their console to, then competitors, Atari. In 1992 Atari Corporation produced their final home computer, the Falcon 030. Similar in style to previous models from the company, the product was criticised for it’s poor choice of internal components and compromised functionality. Shortly after in 1993 Atari underwent a significant re-structuring of the company and diverted their focus to the burgeoning console market and their own project, the Jaguar. As a result the Falcon was discontinued, but not before creating prototype Falcon 030/040 models based upon a Microbox case.
The Microbox case took the machine in a different direction style-wise, borrowing in part from a traditional desktop casing but with a compartmental aesthetic which demonstrates clearly where the inspiration for the Playstation 2 came from when released some eight years later. Side by side the similarities are undeniable, and indeed Sony pay reference to the Atari’s Falcon 030 and 040 in their patent for the console.