The system has been out for awhile. What was once new hotness is now yesterday's headlines. The system has built up a great library, but everybody already has the best games. You've dropped the price, but maybe the next generation is starting to horn in on your sales. What's a video game company to do?
Easy: Send the console in for some reconstructive surgery — keep the functionality, but repackage it into a slick new design.
In order to move aging product and take advantage of late adopters whose primary concern is price over all else, as well as advancements in manufacturing, it's a common practice to put out a new version of its old products, especially video game consoles (which are half the size, fix any technical issues that arose with the original design, and costs half as much to manufacture as the original) three to five years after launch.
Thus the company gets those late adopters who want to dive into a huge established library without paying the sometimes-exorbitant prices of a brand new console. On the other hand, they run the risk of alienating those fans who bought the old version six months before the spiffy new model came out.
Not just limited to consoles, Product Facelifts can happen to many other kinds of goods like cars and toys, often for similar reasons.
- The PC Engine, launched in 1987, was one of the most successful game consoles in Japan. A far cry from its American counterpart, the TurboGrafx-16, which held a distant third place during the Super NES vs. Sega Genesis console war. As a result, it enjoyed a variety of redesigns exclusive to the region along with expandibility options.
- It got not one, not two, but three redesigns in 1989. The first one, the PC Engine CoreGrafx, was essentially a recolored version of the original white PC Engine, but with the RF output replaced with composite A/V. The second model, the PC Engine Shuttle, was marketed towards younger players with its spaceship-like design and unique variant of the TurboPad controller, but lacked the CD-ROM expansion port in order to reduce cost. The third and last of these models was the PC Engine SuperGrafx, which featured an extra video chip and more RAM. The SuperGrafx was intended to be a premium model meant to run exclusive games in addition to standard HuCards (similar to the later PS4 Pro), but because the hardware advantage offered by the SuperGrafx was not significant enough to make much of a difference in performance, only a handful of SuperGrafx-specific games were produced (most notably a port of Capcom's Ghouls 'n Ghosts) and many games that were planned for it were ultimately released as regular HuCards or CD-ROMs. Later variations of the console include the CoreGrafx II (a recolored version of the original CoreGrafx), the PC Engine GT (a handheld version released as the Turbo Express in the U.S.) and the PC Engine LT (another handheld variant, but with a laptop-inspired design and an expansion port for CD-ROM support).
- The CD-ROM2 add-on also underwent a revision as well. The original CD-ROM2 System launched in 1988 (and later redesigned as the TurboGrafx-CD for the U.S. in 1990), consists of three main components: the actual CD-ROM drive (which functioned as a portable audio CD player by itself), the interface unit that connects the CD drive to the consolenote and the System Card (a HuCard that contained the BIOS required to play CD-ROM2 games). NEC later released the Super System Card upgrade for the CD-ROM2 System in 1991, which featured additional RAM and an updated BIOS required for Super CD-ROM2 discs. But PC Engine owners who didn't already own the original CD-ROM2 add-on could purchase the Super CD-ROM2 System instead, which combined the CD-ROM drive, interface unit and Super System Card into one convenient unit.
- This culminated with the PC Engine Duo also launched in 1991 (released as the Turbo Duo in the U.S. alongside the Super System Card in 1992), a PC Engine console with built-in Super CD-ROM2 unit. The original model has a headphone jack and a battery slot that allows it to be turned into a portable game console with a separately available chargeable battery and a mini-LCD monitor. The PC Engine Duo-R was then released in 1993, which has a different chassis (colored white instead of black), updated the NEC logo and removed the headphone jack and battery slot to reduce manufacturing cost. The final model of the Duo (and consequently, the final model of the PC Engine ever), the PC Engine Duo-RX released in 1994, has some minor coloring changes from the Duo-R, an improved CD-ROM drive, and came packaged with a 6-button joypad in lieu of the standard 2-button pad in response to the popularity of fighting games as a result of Street Fighter II's success (curiously it had no built-in support for Arcade Card games despite being launched after the release of that add-on, likely done so to keep manufacturing costs down)
- Pictured above is the NES top loader (aka the NES-101 model) released in 1993 (a few years after the Super NES was already launched), which converted the console from a front-loading VCR-like design to a more conventional top-loading design and came packaged with a redesigned version of the controller (NES-039) that more closely resemble its Super NES counterpart (hence the dogbone nickname) rather than the original's rectangular design. The top-loading design made the cartridge insertion much more robust, cutting down on the old "flashing light" problem caused by bent connector pins. However, a manufacturing error caused most units of the remodeled NES to ship with faulty video output that causes faint vertical lines (or jailbars) to always appear on-screen. On top of that, this new unit only accepted video output via RF modulation, as it lacked the RCA output jacks from the original NES-001 model. Nintendo produced a revised version of the top-loader that fixed the jailbar effect with a new motherboard and replaced the RF output with the same multi-AV port used by the Super NES, but this revision was only distributed as a replacement unit to consumers who shipped their faulty top loaders to Nintendo for repairs, making it sought-after among collectors.
- Shortly after its release in North America, the NES top-loader was brought in to Japan as a redesigned version of its Japanese counterpart, the Famicom. Sold simply as the Family Computer (the same official name as the original HVC-001 model) and nicknamed the AV Famicom or New Famicom, the HVC-101 model of the Famicom has a similar design to its U.S. counterpart with the biggest difference being the flatter surface around the cartridge slot in order to make room for the Disk System's RAM Adapter. Unlike the remodeled NES, the remodeled Famicom supported composite AV output from the outset, which was also its big selling point (hence the AV Famicom nickname), as the original Famicom only supported RF output. The remodeled Famicom has both, a pair of NES-style controller ports (as opposed to hardwired controllers of the orginal Famicom) and a dedicated port for peripherals like the original Famicom has. However, the two included controllers lacked the built-in microphone of the original Famicom's second controller, although a workaround was included for games that required it in order to progress (simply press Down+A on controller #2 and the console will emulate any microphone input).
- Years before the release of the New Famicom in 1993, Sharp released a series of officially-licensed Famicom-compatible devices in Japan such as the Sharp C1 in 1983 (a TV monitor with built-in Famicom console), the Twin Famicom in 1986 (a Famicom console with a built-in Disk System that already featured composite video output via RCA jacks) and the Famicom Titler in 1989 (a Famicom console designed specifically for editing gameplay footage and offered S-video output). Sharp also a released a TV set with built-in NES control deck for the U.S. market known as the Game Television.
- The Super NES would get a compact redesign of its own in 1997 known as the SNS-101 model. Besides its smaller design, the main differences between it and the original SNS-001 model was the removal of the expansion dock at the bottom of the console (which only the Japan-only BS-X Satellaview add-on ended up supporting) and the fact that the SNS-101 has no support for S-Video and RGB output (at least not without internal modding). This model was released as the Super Famicom Jr. in Japan (or model number SHVC-101). Both versions of the console came with a slightly revised version of the SFC/SNES controller that removed the console's logo on the front in favor of a plain Nintendo logo in an attempt to give the controller a more region-neutral design (despite the fact that the shapes and colors of the ABXY buttons still differed between regions).
- A third-party version of the Nintendo GameCube by Panasonic known as the Q was released exclusively in Japan several months after the original console; this console featured the ability to play both GameCube discs and video DVDs, but was commercially unsuccessful due to it costing more than the combined price of a regular GameCube console and a separate DVD player together. The DVD playback functioned separately from the GameCube functionality, despite using the same disc drive.
- Nintendo released the Wii Mini (the RVL-201 model), a compact redesign of the Wii that was initially available exclusively in Canada in 2012 before getting a wide release in the U.S. and Europe in 2013 (around the same time the Wii U came out). The Wii Mini replaced the front-loading disc mechanism with a top-loading tray and lacked backwards compatibility with GameCube discs and peripherals (which admittedly the later RVL-101 revision of the original Wii already omitted), the SD card slot, support for component cables and all online connectivity (which meant no way to download WiiWare and Virtual Console games and no online multiplayer for games that supported it). The Wii Mini came bundled with a single Wii Motion Plus controller and a copy of Mario Kart Wii and was sold at a retail price of $99.99, which was considered a bargain at the time (as buying the game and controller separately at the time cost almost as much as the bundle itself).
- The Nintendo Switch's big selling point was that it could be used as either a home console or a handheld. When it came time to make a second model, Nintendo decided to drop this functionality and make it a pure handheld. By not having to include the components for separate controllers, TV output, or features like rumble and an infrared camera, the Switch Lite was able to shave off a decent amount of size and weight — and $100 off its sale price.
- The Game Boy was succeeded by the Game Boy Pocket in 1996, which was smaller and proportionally thinner (allowing it to more easily fit in pants pockets, hence the name), required two AAA batteries rather than four AA ones, and replaced the 2-inch greenscale screen with a slightly larger grayscale one. In 1998, the Game Boy Light came out only in Japan; similar in design to the Pocket, this model featured a backlight for the first time. However, it required two AA batteries rather than two AAA ones and would have its runtime shortened by 40% with the backlight on. The Game Boy Color, launched a few months later worldwide, lacked the backlight, but upgraded the hardware capabilities to allow colored graphics on par with the original NES (hence the name). Because the Color was designed to play its own exclusive cartridges in addition to standard and Color-enhanced cartridges, most people count it as its own platform, despite Nintendo officially marketing it as a revision and the internal hardware being not all that different from previous monochrome-only models.
- The Game Boy Advance was succeeded by the Game Boy Advance SP, which utilized a rechargeable 700mAh Lithium Ion battery rather than requiring 2 AAs and featured a clamshell design similar to dual-screen Game & Watch titles and the later Nintendo DS family. The SP also added a frontlight that could be toggled on and off with a button. Similarly to the Game Boy Light, activating the frontlight would shorten the SP's runtime from 18 hours to a mere 10 (the later AGS-101 revision added a backlight as well for much clearer visuals). Two years later, the Game Boy Micro would come out at the same time as the original Nintendo DS. It utilized a 460 mAh Lithium Ion battery that ran for 10 hours, and featured a backlight that could be toggled between five different brightness levels, but lacked support for original Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges (much like the original Nintendo DS). As the name implies, it was also significantly smaller than all previous Game Boy models, being smaller than even an NES controller.
- The Nintendo DS was followed by the Nintendo DS Lite, which was a smaller and more energy-efficient version of the portable. Then came the Nintendo DSi, which added an internal camera and wi-fi support (allowing for exclusive DSiware games to be downloaded to the unit), but removed the GBA cartridge slot. Finally, there's the DSi XL, which is a larger version of the DSi, made predominantly for use by seniors who could benefit from a bigger screen and different lighting. It's an interesting sign of the change in Nintendo's target demographic from the time of the DS Lite release to the XL's.
- The Nintendo 3DS was followed by a bigger model called the Nintendo 3DS XL and then with a kid-friendlier, hingeless version called the Nintendo 2DS, which removes the 3D visual effects (a "feature" aimed at kids whose eyes could be damaged by staring at the effect for too long, believe or not). They followed it up with the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS XL, which were upgraded models similar to the DSi in the sense that they have some better tech under the hood, specifically a faster processor (which helps cut down on load times), stereoscopic 3D that can be viewed at a wider amount of angles, a C-stick to accompany the circle pad, and ZL & ZR triggers. Because of the New 3DS's faster CPU, some games (both retail cards and downloads from the eShop) are incompatible with the original 3DS (such as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D or Fire Emblem Warriors), or have certain features available only on the New 3DS (such as the 3D display mode in Hyrule Warriors Legends). The latest to come out is the New Nintendo 2DS XL, which ditches hingeless design of the original 2DS and adds all the enhancements from the New 3DS minus the 3D display.
- The original PlayStation underwent numerous slighty revisions, with each model having many internal and external changes, most notably the removal of the RCA output jacks in the SCPH-5500 series, followed by the parallel I/O port in the SCPH-9000 series. The console eventually received a smaller model in 2000, rechristened the PS One (aka the SCPH-100 series), that was designed to reduce the overheating issues that the previous models occasionally ran into. This was done so by replacing the internal power supply that the original SCPH-1000 series used with an external power supply, as well as removing the reset button and the serial I/O port required for the Link Cable (which was supported primarily by racing games). This resulted in the PS One becoming so small (only slightly larger than a CD case) that, with a portable LCD screen add-on, it makes for a decent portable system, assuming you can find an outlet for the AC adapter.
- While some consoles did this in the past, the PS One started the trend of making a slimmer and more affordable revision of a console, particularly close to the release of the follow-up for those who can't afford the next console or mid-way through a system's life cycle to push sales and capitalize on an established games lineup. Interestingly, with the exception of the PSP Slim & Lite listed below, none of the redesigned PlayStation consoles have officially been called a "Slim" (they were simply marketed under the same name as the original model).
- The PlayStation 2 received a slimmer redesign as well starting with the SCPH-70000 series launched on 2004, which was slimmer than a DVD case, but lacked the expansion bay for the Hard Disk Drive add-on from the SCPH-30000 and 50000 series (although, it did have a built-in ethernet port for online gaming). In Japan it also got a "media hub" makeover as the PSX (no relation to how to the original PlayStation was abbreviated before it was numbered), which featured an internal hard drive, digital video recording capability, and an early version of the XrossMediaBar (the same OS later used for the PSP and PS3).
- The PlayStation 3 had numerous models. Successive models following the launch CECHA00 model upgraded the hard drive capacity, but at the same time reduced some features that some users didn't take too kindly to. This affected backwards compatibility for PS2 discs (PS1 discs still work on all models), media card slots, USB ports, among others.
- The CECH-2000 series was eventually launched in 2009, which featured a smaller form factor (hence the "PS3 Slim" nickname) and added support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming, as well as synchronization with BRAVIA TV sets with the XMB. However, support for PS2 discs was dropped though, with backwards compatibility limited to downloadable games available on the PS Store (Super Audio CD compatibility had already been dropped with the third and final generation of the original "Fat" model). PS1 disc support is still present, though, via software emulation. It most notably came along with a major brand redesign, moving the banner on the boxart from the left edge to the top, changing the brand colours from red to blue and dropping the all-caps "PLAYSTATION 3" logo with the Spider-Man-style fonts in favor of an abbreviated PS3 logo. These changes were intentionally reminiscent of the incredibly popular PlayStation 2, and all remain to this day.
- The CECH-4000 series was even smaller than the Slim models (hence the "Super Slim" nickname) and replaced the motorized disc drive in favor of a top loading design with a sliding disc cover. Some versions of the super slim (specifically the CECH-4XXXA models) feature 12GB of flash memory instead of a hard drive as its default memory storage.
- The PlayStation Portable was redesigned as the PSP-2000 (aka the "Slim & Lite"), gaining a better screen and TV-Out capability along with losing some weight. The PSP-3000 was later announced, the main changes apparently being a better analog stick and a microphone for Skype. PSP Go (the N1000 model) removed the UMD slot in order to reduce cost and push downloadable media, making it the first portable gaming console that does not use physical media. But after a couple years of lackluster sales, PSP Go was finally discontinued in 2011. Sony did try to get into the mobile market with the Xperia Play, but that also fell short. Another cost-reduced model that was exclusive to Europe, the PSP Street (the E1000 model) took the opposite approach in the sense that it retained the UMD slot, but removed its wi-fi capabilities, making it a strictly offline device.
- The PlayStation Vita also got a slimmed down version, the PCH-2000 series, which dropped the OLED screen for an LCD.
- The PlayStation 4 has had not one, but two new models launched in 2016. One is the CUH-2000 (nicknamed the PS4 Slim, but simply marketed as the PS4), a slightly thinner and rounder model of the standard PS4 with a quieter ventilator and no support for optical audio. The second model is the PS4 Pro (the CUH-7000 series), a roughly 50% thicker model (as in three slate-like structures instead of two) that outputs 4K video and improved quality for PlayStation VR, among other hardware revisions (such as a faster CPU). Despite Sony's push for Blu-ray format with the PS3, the PS4 Pro does not support Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.
- The SG-1000, Sega's very first game console launched in 1983, was itself a consolized version of their SC-3000 personal computer launched at the same time. The main difference between the two is that the SC-3000 has an integrated keyboard, while the SG-1000 has a hardwired Atari-style joystick. Otherwise, both hardware are essentially identical internally and the SG-1000 can be turned into a personal computer with the SK-1100 keyboard, allowing it to utilize the same peripherals and programming software as the SC-3000 in addition to game catridges. A second model of the console was released in 1984 known as the SG-1000 II (a.k.a. the Mark II), which replaced the hardwired joystick with a pair of detachable Famicom-style joypads that can be stored on the side. The outer design of the SG-1000 II would end up being used (with slight changes) for Sega's succeeding console in 1985, the Sega Mark III (a.k.a. the SG-1000 M3), which is improved upon the SG-1000's specifications by adding an upgraded video processing unit and a built-in IC card slot (for Sega MyCard games that required the CardCatcher adapter on prior models). The Sega Mark III would go on to serve as the basis for the Master System in 1986, Sega's first game console in the west.
- Incidentally the Master System would be released in Japan as a relaunched version of the Sega Mark III in 1987. However, this Japanese version of the console differs from the earlier western models by replacing the reset button on the power base with a turbo fire switch (which eliminated the possibility of accidentally resetting your game when trying to hit pause, a much welcomed benefit) and adding built-in support for the Sega 3D Glasses without the need of the card slot adapter, as well as an integrated FM sound chip for games that supported it (which was sold separately as an upgrade module for the Mark III in Japan and never released in the west).
- Curiously, the SG-1000 and SG-1000 II (along with the SC-3000), as well as the Mark III and Master System, are all counted as separate platforms by Sega in Japan, despite sharing the same hardware and software. This is why the Mega Drive had the codename Mark V during development (the Saturn was Mark VI— one of the reasons for the name, the other being previous/concurrent Sega console projects had planet-themed codenames).
- The Master System would be relaunched as well in North America and Europe with a budget-priced model known as the Master System II. This model featured a more compact design, but at the expense of a lot of features from the original such as the (admittedly unused) expansion port, the card slot (making it incompatible with Sega Card games and the aforementioned 3D glasses) and support for A/V output (only RF was supported).
- The Mega Drive/Genesis underwent through three basic designs, not counting the various minor revisions and later consoles-on-a-chip. After the original model, there was the first redesign in 1993, known as the Mega Drive 2 in Japan and Europe and sold as the Genesis Core System (without the Sega prefix) in North America. It lacked the headphone jack and volume slider that was on front of the original model, as well as the DE-9 port of the back (which only the Japan-only Mega Modem add-on ended up supporting). The Genesis 3 was released in 1997 exclusively in North America as a budget console by Majesco and has an even more compact design due to the removal of the expansion port and simplified internal components. Unfortunately this made the Genesis 3 incompatible with the Sega CD and 32X add-ons, as well as certain games such as Virtua Racing and Gargoyles.
- The Sega CD (or Mega CD) add-on itself was also released in two models. The original model launched in 1991 was a large front loading unit that was placed under the console and has large LED indicators next to the disc tray. The second model Sega CD (or Mega CD 2), released alongside the redesigned Genesis, is a smaller top-loading unit that is placed on the side of the console. Most of the promotional imagery for the Model 2 Sega CD only showed it connected to the Model 2 Genesis, giving the impression that they were only compatible with each other, but this is not the case. The Model 2 Sega CD can be used with the Model 1 Genesis and it even comes with a plastic spacer that extends the base of the add-on so that it can be connected to the console's expansion port while preserving its aesthetics. Likewise, the Model 2 Genesis can be used with the Model 1 Sega CD, but this combination is a lot less elegant looking due to the larger size of the add-on, leaving lots of empty space next to the console.
- In addition to the stand-alone Mega Drive/Genesis consoles, there were also a few hybrid models that have an integrated Mega CD/Sega CD unit, similar to the aforementioned Duo models of the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16. The first of these hybrid consoles was the Wondermega, released exclusively in Japan in 1992 by both, Sega and JVC, with the Sega-branded version being the rarer of the two variants. The original Wondermega featured a built-in MIDI and microphone ports, allowing it to function as a MIDI synthesizer and as a karaoke machine as well. This was followed by the Wondermega M2 in 1993, which featured a more compact design and removed the MIDI support, but still retained the karaoke functionality. This was the same model that was released in the U.S. as the X'Eye the same year. Afterward came the Sega-produced Genesis CDX (or Multi-Mega), released in North America and Europe in 1994, which lacks the karaoke support of the X'Eye, but has a much more compact design and an LED display, allowing it to function as a portable CD player. The last (and rarest) of these hybrid units, the Aiwa CSD-GM1, released in limited quantities in 1994 in Japan, features an integrated an audio cassette player and functions as a portable radio.
- The Sega Saturn had two main models released: the launch HST-3200 model featured oval-shaped power and reset buttons along LEDs for power and access, while the HST-3220 model released in 1996 removed the LEDs and replaced the oval power and reset buttons into round ones. In Japan these two models were distinguished by the color of their cases: the Model 1 consoles have gray casing with blue power/reset/eject buttons, while the Model 2 consoles have white casing with a red eject button and gray power/reset buttons. The standard-issue controller was also recolored to match the consoles, with the Model 2 controller having the ABC buttons now colored green, yellow and blue (the shoulder buttons and the start button were red). In the U.S. and Europe, Sega made no distinction between the two models, having released both of them in black casing, although the Model 2 consoles in the west did come with a black version of the Japanese-style controller instead of the crappily-redesigned U.S. controller.
- Said white-colored model may have influenced the design of the Dreamcast (especially the 3D Control Pad, which directly led to the Dreamcast controller's design), and it was also partially responsible for the creation of Segata Sanshiro.
- The Sega Dreamcast received a limited-edition black "SEGA Sports" model that came prepackaged with two games, and another model, the Diver 2000 CX-1, could best be described as a CRT television with a Dreamcast built into it (and it was designed to look like Sonic's head!).
- The Xbox was one of the only systems to do this with a controller exclusively; after the backlash received for the launch controller over its girth (earning it the Fan Nickname "The Duke"), Microsoft created an S controller for the Japanese market, who have smaller hands. The S controller then quietly replaced the original and Microsoft pretended the original never existed... until 2018 when they supported a re-release of the controller for the Xbox One for nostalgia.
- The Xbox 360 received a few model refreshes over its lifespan. The first was the Xbox 360 Elite, which included a larger hard drive and different livery. Subsequent models included the CPU and GPU being made in smaller transistor sizes, so as to curb the overheating and red-ring issue. It eventually got a downsized version, the Xbox 360 S (which dropped the Memory Unit slots and came with built-in Wi-Fi). The final model, Xbox 360 E, resembles a smaller version of the launch model Xbox One.
- The Xbox One received its first facelift at E3 2016 as the 'Xbox One S', a white, 40% smaller system that includes 4K video support (including support for Ultra HD Blu-ray, something that curiously the PS4 Pro lacked, despite Sony's investment in the Blu-ray format) and an internal power supply (rather than requiring a bulky power brick), among other improvements. However, aside from some marginal performance improvement, the Xbox One S was still in its core just a slimmer less expensive version of the standard Xbox One. That's where the Xbox One X comes in. Officially unveiled at E3 2017 after being teased in the previous year's show, the Xbox One X (formerly Project Scorpio) is an enhanced model designed specifically for 4K gaming that features a faster CPU, more RAM and a 6 teraflops GPU (in contrast to the 4.2 teraflops of the PS4 Pro), while somehow being smaller than the Xbox One S (which itself is already smaller than the launch Xbox One). It is also much more expensive than the Xbox One S with a $499 price tag, hence why the Xbox One S will still be offered as the standard model.
- The original Atari 2600 had a wood look to it that was popular in the 1970s. Throughout the 1980s it had various versions that kept the design intact while having slight differences. In 1986 the 2600 was modernized as a smaller, black looking system similar to the Atari 7800 and marketed as a budget console that could play classic games. This model has been given the Fan Nickname of the "Atari Jr".
- The first model of the Useful Notes/3DOInteractiveMultiplayer was the FZ-1 model by Panasonic, also known as the 3DO REAL, which retailed at $699 when it launched in 1993 due to the fact that the 3DO System wasn't technically a Panasonic product - they simply had the technology licensed out from the The 3DO Company, who wished to make it an industry standard in the same sense VHS was for movies. Despite the the fact that 3DO standard failed to take the industry by storm, there were still quite a few versions put out by other licensees such as Sanyo's TRY model that was available only in Japan and Goldstar's ALIVE model. Panasonic eventually released a cost-reduced model known as the FZ-10 in 1995 in order to compete with the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, which replaced the front-loading tray with a top-loading one.
- The Neo Geo Pocket and the Wonderswan got their respective Color revisions in 1999 and 2000 respectively. Because of this, SNK skipped over the original Neo Geo Pocket in favor of the Color revision when they brought the platform to the west in 1999. The Wonderswan never left Japan in any of its forms.
- This is common practice in the automotive industry, where cars will have their appearances "refreshed" every few years. Many cars (the Ford Mustang, the VW Beetle) have gone over a decade on the same platform, having their body work periodically updated.
- Sometimes this works in reverse to the console version. For example, the VW Golf has got progressively larger over the years. According to some, this is deliberate: the idea is that someone fond of the Golf brand started out in The '80s with a small cheap fun hatchback, then every five years as they grow more prosperous and settle down they can keep buying the new Golf but every time it's bigger, more family-friendly and more sensible. In turn, VW releases new smaller cars to replace the older Golf as the first-adopter option, such as the Polo and Lupo.
- In a direct aversion of the trope, Lada 2107, first introduced in 1982, is still producednote with essentially zero external changes, despite quite a few internal tweaks, like a completely new engine lineup, for example. Ironically, 2107 is itself a restyle of a 1979 Lada 2105, which was a deluxe version of Lada 2101, a Soviet license-built copy of Fiat-124.
- The Networker Classic was an attempt to do the same for trains: a new 1990s body on the original 1960s chassis.
- When Amstrad ran out of 3" floppy drives for their PCW wordprocessors, they switched to 3.5" drives. The 9512 case didn't need many tweaks to accommodate these, and the result was called 9512+. The older 8000-series models were redesigned to match the 9512, the result becoming the 9256.
- Both graphics processing unit manufacturers NVIDIA and ATI/AMD have released older GPU architectures in current generation lineups. Probably the most infamous is NVIDIA's usage of the G92 chip, which spanned three generations (and accounted for an entire generation).
- Intel turned to the Pentium III architecture to create the Pentium M. On the surface, both are practically the same, but the Pentium M performed so well that it became the Ensemble Dark Horse in the days of the Pentium 4.
- This is common with books, especially if they have a movie coming out. Many books get a movie tie-in cover to entice people who saw the movie first to buy the book, or, once the book has gone out of print once, it'll get re-issued with a new cover to make it look like a new and exciting book to draw in new readers.
- This happened twice with Thomson 8-bit computers:
- The TO-7/70, introduced at the same time as the lower-end MO-5, was a minor upgrade and face-lift to the original TO-7 model. Along with more built-in RAM, improved colors and better light pen support, the case was mechanically improved, with the most obvious difference being the removal of a dangerous protruding heat sink.
- The MO-5E was an upgraded version of the MO-5 with the power supply and joystick expansion built in and a full-stroke keyboard instead of the MO-5's ZX Spectrum-like rubber keys. The E originally stood for "export," since the model was first released in West Germany with a QWERTY-layout keyboard instead of the AZERTY layout used by most French keyboards, including that of the eventual French version of the MO-5E.
- In 1986, the Commodore 64 was reissued in a sleeker, smaller case, which resembled the Commodore 128. Due to its smaller size, it was dubbed the Commodore 64C.
- The Apple IIe received a "platinum edition" in 1987, with the case color and logo more in line with the Apple Macintosh design at the time.