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Early Installment Weirdness / Video Games

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Developers don't always get things right the first time. It takes a later game to make the proper foundations of a franchise or series. Here are the early missteps that were corrected later.

Works with their own pages:


  • Early Atari 2600 games used game select and difficulty switches to select game parameters rather than menus due to the low amount of memory and cartridge storage. Games released later in the system lifespan did use menus as cartridge storage increased and the switches were less frequently used. Early models also had the difficulty switches up front, known to fans as "six-switchers." Later models moved the switches to the back, known as "fours-switchers," even though both models had six switches. The game reset switch also starts games.
  • The original Game Boy started out with just a light gray edition in 1989. Then came the Play It Loud! series in 1995, in which it was released in five more colors (along with white in Japan and blue in Europe), and that sets the standard for all subsequent handhelds by Nintendo (starting with the Game Boy Pocket in '97) to be released in all different colors upon launch.
  • In North America, the first year or so of PlayStation titles were packaged in oversized longboxes (similar to the elongated cases used for the Sega CD and US/EU Sega Saturn games), which had multiple variants. These would eventually be replaced by the more economical jewel case, with many of the popular longbox games being reprinted in this format.
  • Early PlayStation 2 games also came in generic DVD cases in America instead of the cases with a memory card holder or PlayStation logo embossed inside. Many early games were also still being released on CDs (easily identifiable by their blue backs) until DVD became the dominant format for the system.
  • PlayStation 3 games up to 2009 came in packaging similar to the PS1 with the "Spider-Man"-style full name of the system on the left side of the box and a PlayStation logo on the label of the disc. When the PS3 underwent a rebrand in 2009 to coincide with the then-newly released Slim model, the logo was changed to the more familiar PS2-style "PS3" logo along the top, which would remain standard for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
  • One of the earliest games for Nintendo 3DS, Super Mario 3D Land, had two "modes" of stereoscopic 3D that could be freely swapped between: one where the graphics "pop out" of the screen, and one where they "sink into" the screen. Because of how disorienting the former effect is, no future game included this feature, and the vast majority went with the "sink in" style.
  • Early Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games came with full-fledged physical manuals. Eventually these were watered down into single paper pamphlets and eventually even that was just replaced with a generic paper telling you how to view the digital manual. Some games still came with manuals, however they're very rare and mostly limited to indie games.