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Multijointed Monster Maker

What makes good hardware?

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This could get into a good detailed discussion. It can be defined in different ways for different kinds of people. For some, good hardware means good graphics or good "specs" or good perceived power. Others can define it as how easy to program is it or how much untapped potential the system has. Sometimes technical specs are overwelmingly misleading, and leave out conditional limitations, where a system can do X and it can do Y, but it can't do X and Y at the same time. On the contrary, sometimes the technical specs are underwelmingly misleading, where they don't take into account tricks around limitations and make the system appear weaker than it actually is.

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This could get into a good detailed discussion. It can be defined in different ways for different kinds of people. For some, good hardware means good graphics or good "specs" or good perceived power. Others can define it as how easy to program is it or how much untapped potential the system has. Sometimes technical specs are overwelmingly misleading, and leave out conditional limitations, where a system can do X and it can do Y, but it can't do X and Y at the same time. On the contrary, sometimes the technical specs are underwelmingly misleading, where they don't take into account tricks around limitations and make the system appear weaker than it actually is.

 

Good hardware, I would think, would incorporate all those things. I would also include reliability/durability of the hardware as aspects of good hardware.

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As long as the console has good games, the most important thing to me in terms of hardware is build quality. I want to rest assured that I can play these games for a good long time. Look at the VCS, its built like a tank and has stood the test of time. The NES on the other hand (toaster model) was built poorly and is at times insanely finicky. Look at the Achilles heel of the 5200 for example, had it been built a bit better I think it would be seen in a much different light. I know for a fact that I have yet to bought a Xbox 360 is because of the RROD that plagued it for so long (although the newer slims look to be a bit more reliable). As far as I'm concerned you can have all the bits and "specs" you want in a system, but if it is built poorly what good is it?

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If you have hardware that works good, and people have good interest in the hardware, that's some good hardware.

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I agree that good games and build quality are two important factors. What about comfortable controllers? If a console's crappy stock controllers kill your hands, and it's not easy to replace them with something better, that is a definite negative. Atari 5200 seems to get the most flack in this respect.

Edited by mbd30

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I've always considered good hardware to be a measure of the flexibility.

 

Does the CPU HAVE to do everything? (yes = not very flexible)

 

Can the video be changed at nearly any time? (yes = flexible)

 

Does the sound require near constant management? (yes = not very flexible)

 

Can you count on a wide variety of inputs? (yes = flexible)

 

The Atari 8-bit computers were very flexible, which is why that was the 8-bit system I went with. When it came time to move to 16-bit, I went with the Amiga for the same reason - more flexible.

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Good hardware would have to have good specs (for it's time) and good internal design. After all, it's no good to have awesome processors and graphics, if the console can't actually access all of them (or easily)

 

Graphics help, to be sure, but aren't a necessary part of playing a game.

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If it works well, does what it is intended to do, and is reliable and sturdy, OR it can effectively be used to pry open cans of paint or poke holes in metal things (like a big ol' screwdriver), or can be used to fix things that are out of alignment or pound 'em back into shape (like a good, solid hammer), then it's good hardware.

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