The video gaming landscape in the past years has changed considerably. We’re seeing a rise in “portable PCs” designed specifically for gaming purposes, while traditional consoles have become as powerful as or even more powerful than our desktop computers. For all intents and purposes, these home gaming machines can meet almost all our digital entertainment needs, though they have one design peculiarity that makes them a little less convenient for that. Most gaming consoles need to be hooked up to a display and a speaker, which puts some limits on how and where you can use them. That’s why there have been both concepts and actual mods that transform consoles into more standalone and sometimes even portable entertainment machines, but this PlayStation Capsule definitely takes the cake by mashing gaming, video, and audio entertainment together in a single, innovative form.
Designer: Alisher Ashimov
Right off the bat, this machine looks like no other console, not even those modded consoles that masquerade as very hefty suitcases. The foldable pyramid form might look alien to most people today, but more seasoned designers and tech pundits might be familiar with the JVC Video Capsule from 1978. Similar to that vintage appliance, the PlayStation Capsule concept encapsulates, pardon the pun, everything you’d need to immerse yourself in your favorite digital content. You don’t even need to plug anything in, except the PlayStation controllers, of course.
When the capsule is closed and the pyramid is whole, the device functions as an eye-catching speaker, a refreshing break from the cylinders and rectangles of today’s breed. Beyond just the unique shape and 360-degree audio, however, the PlayStation Capsule’s most notable feature in this Speaker Mode is its controls on its front. It has a touchscreen panel that acts both as a way to display visuals like album art as well as an interface for the speaker’s functions. That said, the capsule also features two physical knobs that give better tactile feedback and pay homage to the physical dials of the video capsule of old.
Swing the top upward, and you’ve switched to Console Mode, which can also be Video Mode if binge streaming is the name of your game. It reveals an integrated display so that you can start gaming or watching right then and there, removing the middle man of navigating the TV first. What makes the PlayStation Console special is the built-in mechanical keyboard, the type that gamers love for their tactile feedback and sound, as well as a MacBook-like Touch Bar for instant access to often-used functions. This is especially useful for games that require you to chat with others or to quickly toggle features on or off without having to dig through menus.
Although it’s not something you’d carry with you on your travels, the PlayStation Capsule’s compact and integrated design still makes it portable to some extent. It doesn’t prevent you from hooking it up to a larger TV or more powerful speakers, but it can also function completely on its own when the circumstances call for it. More importantly, it gives the gaming console a striking and memorable design, one that looks to the future while paying respects to past innovations and creativity.
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