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bluejay

Least satisfying power switches

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Some consoles/computers have awesome power switches. Nice, clicky, responsive, and functional. Some don't. What are your least favorite computer/console power switches? Mine are...

 

Atari Jaguar. Only lights up when there's a cartridge inserted, and it is very difficult to tell whether it is on or not. Sometimes you insert a cartridge only to find out the system was ON. Not sure if this is harmful or not, but it's icky.

 

Sega Genesis Model 1. Switch feels very... unsatisfying. It isn't clicky; it's just the feeling of plastic scraping against some more plastic, and nothing more.

 

Colecovision. Most likely the most infamous on this list. Switch is very stiff and isn't responsive at all. Sometimes you get the urge to spray WD40 onto it to make things a bit smoother.

 

Commodore VIC-20 (2 prong). Maybe it's just my VIC-20, but it takes a crapload of pressure to turn the thing on, and barely any to turn it back off. By "crapload of pressure" I mean "takes-both-hands-to-thrust-both-your-thumbs-onto-the-switch" kind of pressure. It "loosens up" after a few switches back and forth, but after a while it becomes stiff all over again. Even if it didn't have this issue I don't think it would be a terribly pleasing switch to throw.

 

Nintendo 64. Same as the Genesis except much, much stiffer.

 

Commodore PET. Fine; this isn't an unsatifsying switch. It is disappointing though; you'd expect something more from something as industrial looking as a PET. I wish it was bigger if anything. You can feel and hear a thump when powering the thing up, but the rather small switch kind of ruins the mood.

 

Gameboy Color: feels smooth but very heavy. It feels nice the moment it flicks to the "on" position, but the process of getting there is rather iffy.

 

There you are, that's a list of my least favorite power switches in whatever order it came into my mind.

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17 minutes ago, bluejay said:

Commodore VIC-20 (2 prong). Maybe it's just my VIC-20, but it takes a crapload of pressure to turn the thing on, and barely any to turn it back off. By "crapload of pressure" I mean "takes-both-hands-to-thrust-both-your-thumbs-onto-the-switch" kind of pressure. It "loosens up" after a few switches back and forth, but after a while it becomes stiff all over again. Even if it didn't have this issue I don't think it would be a terribly pleasing switch to throw.

 

I've run into this on multiple VICs.  After the 1st, very difficult, throw, it takes no effort at all to turn it on or off, but come back the next day and it's stuck again.  Always wondered what was up with those units.

 

The Commodore Daewoo monitors (1902, 2002, 1080, 1084) also have switches that feel mushy and tend to go bad.

 

I generally find slider switches (TI99, Colecovision, Intellivision, Genesis, etc) have a less positive feel than rocker (excluding those crappy VICs) or push button switches, too, and seem more prone to failure. I like a big, clicky switch where I can feel a contact being made.

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1 minute ago, krslam said:

The Commodore Daewoo monitors (1902, 2002, 1080, 1084) also have switches that feel mushy and tend to go bad.

I totally forgot about those! When I had my 1902a I remember it being very annoying as it sometimes didn't engage and lock into the ON position, and it felt like some more scraping plastic. It never worked though, and I ended up throwing it out.

Edited by bluejay

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I'm going to have to go with the SuperGrafx. Maybe it's just mine, but it doesn't really snap into place at all and requires a bit of force to move it. It just kind of slowly scrapes its way over there and it actually turns on before the switch hits the far side of the little slot thingy. It also squeaks loudly on occasion. It's basically just horrible in every way.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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4 minutes ago, bluejay said:

I totally forgot about those! When I had my 1902a I remember it being very annoying as it sometimes didn't engage and lock into the ON position, and it felt like some more scraping plastic. It never worked though, and I ended up throwing it out.

1902a is a Philips design, isn't it? I always thought those had decent buttons. Daewoo made the 1902 (no 'A') and those switches are forever going bad.

 

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19 minutes ago, krslam said:

1902a is a Philips design, isn't it? I always thought those had decent buttons. Daewoo made the 1902 (no 'A') and those switches are forever going bad.

 

No clue. Didn't like mine.

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What's worse than switches is buttons. The Neo Geo Pocket has a very unsatisfying rubber button that you have to hold in until the power light comes on.

 

The PSP. That switch pops and and goes back to its original position. And to power it completely down you have to hold that switch up for a while.

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The SNES Jr has a good click but it just doesn't hit for me like the OG SNES does. Can't say why. 

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Model 1 Genesis is one of my favorite switches.

 

PSP is probably the least satisfying. The first PS3 also sucks as it's pretty much a non-button. Xbox 360 is less unsatisying but also too non-buttony.

 

NES is the most associated with a console not working for me. Just thinking about pressing it makes me feel anxiety.

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PS2 Slim, awful fiddly little button which feels so vague and I never know if I have actually pushed it or not without looking at it.

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Anything capacitive/touch. Especially ones with a delay. It's so post-90's! And that rubber stuff. It all sUcKzoRz!

 

Most satisfying ones are rocker switches with a positive snap. Or anything with a positive click. Also like the rotary+volume wheel on old pocket radios and walkie talkies..Got that smooth resistance that builds, then SNAP! The radio turns on. Very reliable.

Edited by Keatah

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PS4 launch model.   The button isn't actually a button, but just a touch-sensitive spot on the front of the system.  Same with the disc-eject button.   Can't tell you how many times I accidentally triggered it or the eject button trying to do something else.

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Videopac G7000, there isn't one.

On 2/13/2021 at 10:15 PM, DJ Clae said:

What's worse than switches is buttons. The Neo Geo Pocket has a very unsatisfying rubber button that you have to hold in until the power light comes on.

 

The PSP. That switch pops and and goes back to its original position. And to power it completely down you have to hold that switch up for a while.

Agreed with this, love both systems to bits, but these methods is strange.

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I always hated the power switch on the PS1.  Every model I've owned, it's so wobbly, there's friction between the edge of the button and the hole it's in, it creates an echoey sound when you press it.  The open and reset buttons are the same way.

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The worst one I’ve ever used is definitely the V-tech Vsmile, it has independent on and off buttons, which wouldn’t be to bad if they where reliable. The console turns on the second anything breaths against the on button but it’ll shut off the moment you let go, unless you really put a lot off pressure on it, which isn’t great for a console targeted at children from ages 2-8. The off button is just as bad but less noticeable. 
 

My favorite is definitely my CRT TV power on button, I really love all the mechanical sounds it makes immediately after pressing it. 

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This particular discussion has to include the Intellivision II.  I like the Intellivision II design, though I know it has its critics, but I do wish that the power/reset button had been different.  It used a dome switch internally, which offered little to no feedback, and it combined power and reset into a single switch: momentary contact reset the console, and pressing and holding for three seconds turned it off.  I would have much preferred separate switches, as in the original Intellivision.

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Didn't like the 2600 jr power switch, just slides but no real click. I like the Jr idea and design, but those switches suck imo.

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6 hours ago, zetastrike said:

I always hated the power switch on the PS1.  Every model I've owned, it's so wobbly, there's friction between the edge of the button and the hole it's in, it creates an echoey sound when you press it.  The open and reset buttons are the same way.

Totally forgot about this as well. Mine makes lot of scratching noises, and everything about it just feels cheap.

12 hours ago, NeonSpaceBeagle said:

the 3DS power switches are terrible.  I hate power switches that are flat and barely pressable.  If it doesn't have a click, go away!
 

Never had a problem with my 3DS XL. I don't particularly love it but I don't dislike it either.

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I think with the 3DS (for me anyway) the button is too tiny..  Am I thinking the right thing here?  It just barely feels existent.  Another thing about the 3DS (and i dont have this problem with any other handheld) is that every single time I go to play it (which honestly is maybe once every 6 months or so though) I have no idea where any of the buttons are.. power, 3d, volume, etc.  I'm just really sour on that whole lineups design.  I did like the DS Lite though.  The 3DS XL is way too top heavy, and the new 3ds just feels crampy in my hands.

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The open button on my PS1 needs to be caressed in order for it to lock.  I mean like you can't just press it, you have to rub it ever so slightly with your finger and it eventually locks.  Do you think it just might be funky inside?

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I'm not sure what to feel about the Tandy 200 power switch. It's like the NES one except it doesn't lock, it's smaller, and a bit less stiff. I suppose it isn't too bad, but it's not exactly what I'd call "satisfying".

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Man, I couldn't agree more, on some of them at least.. Spot on. 👍

 

I always hated the Jag power button issue too. Psyched me out a couple of times.. Thought it was broke. Didn't expect it to only light up when a cart was inserted. 😅

 

Same with the ColecoVision.. What a PITA!  😖 Luckily, I know how to rebuild them though. I've replaced them all together on a couple units. The NKK switch mod was probably the best thing I ever did there.

 

The Genesis and N64 power buttons never bothered me though. 🤷🏻‍♂️

 

I guess some of my favorite ones are the Vectrex, Intellivision (Sears SVA) and NES.. Always satisfying turning those on. 😎

 

 

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