First PS4 design was "totally different"

Chief designer reveals first iteration of PlayStation 4 external design varied significantly from finalized version.


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The first PlayStation 4 external design concept was "totally different" than the finalized version Sony will put on sale next month. Chief designer of the UX Platform Design Group Tesu Sumii revealed the detail in an interview with the PlayStation Blog discussing the design philosophy for the system.

"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," Sumii said.

He did not provide an image of this concept or any other details on how it varied from the final design.

Though the final PS4 design would end up being "totally different" than the first concept, Sumii said the main design principles remained intact throughout the evolution of the hardware.

"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," he said.

Sumii said another goal in the design process was to ensure that the PS4 "looked good" from every position, whether oriented horizontally or vertically.

"I think about the horizontal, not just the vertical," he said. "I think about the 360 degree view. The reverse should be beautiful, too."

Microsoft's Xbox One, on the other hand, is designed to be situated horizontally only. "We don't support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk," senior director of product management and planning at Xbox Albert Penello told GameSpot at the Tokyo Game Show last month.

Overall, Sumii explained that his task in designing look of the PS4 was to "create one single identity" across the PlayStation ecosystem, including the DualShock 4, charging station, vertical stand, headset, and the PlayStation Vita.

"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," Sumii said.

"This should be one of the best, coolest, most sophisticated products we've created. That's what we were striving for," he added.

The PS4 launches in North America on November 15 for $400.

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