Author Topic: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles  (Read 745 times)

tripredacus

The history of the "Hardware" sections on the site started off being a hodgepodge of specific boxed consoles, generic boxed consoles, specific loose consoles and generic loose consoles. After awhile they have all been converted into specific boxed consoles with the specific loose or generic consoles merged into a boxed equivalent. There are still some instances of generic boxed console entries existing, such as in the Xbox categories.

Once I had started the Adv Guide for Gen/MD, I had determined that it would be greatly helpful to be able to make a list of entries that a console would relate to. You can see that post here. Starting with Genesis consoles, it was going along fairly well with the exception of the Model 1 Non-TMSS Made in China console. As I went to document all of these console releases, I was also updating the console entries to indicate which console came in the box, which you can see by clicking through to any of the example packs in that thread.

Then came European releases, starting with UK. It became obvious after a little bit that Sega used outer boxes a lot in EU. This complicates things to a degree because it means many entries (examples here and here) were of inner boxes. To make matters worse, often these inner boxes were used in various countries. Such as an MDII with 2 Controllers box was sold on its own in UK, as an inner box in UK, as a white label pack in UK (example here), as an inner box in France, as an inner box in Germany, and so on... and in addition, coming with different consoles. So there are instances where this inner box comes with the French console (Mega Drive RGB) or with the German console (Mega Drive PAL-G). Then there are UK (-05) and EU (-50) consoles that have a TÜV Rheinland label on the bottom, indicating they are sold in Germany. To make matters worse, the outer boxes are not well documented and many have not survived to this day, and then since there are so many releases in EU, it is increasingly difficult to match up consoles to boxes.

We can surmise that most people have loose consoles more than boxed consoles, and while I think that documenting all of the boxed consoles is important (there are few, if any, websites that track them to the degree that we do) I think that it is also important to consider providing a better way for users to track loose consoles. Also to consider that the more work we put into console release research, the more confusing the Hardware categories become.

So this discussion is about whether or not we should accomodate entries for loose consoles, how it should be done such as with a new category just for loose consoles, and also which platforms is this best to be used for. With this consideration, we would not need to track loose consoles for everything. For example with PS2, there is a very small amount of consoles that have multiple boxes.

This will be put up as a poll, this thread is for intro discussion already. Here are the potential options:
YES/NO. Create new sub-cats in certain cats for loose consoles (existing hardware cat will be for the boxed releases)

Currently this is being tabled as a YES/NO discussion and not one with multiple different choices, although your participation in this discussion may change that. I believe that it should not be an option to allow the creation of loose console entries in the existing hardware sub-cats. Also if we get to the point of approving the new sub-cats for loose consoles, we'll have to decide how to name the categories.

Systems that would benefit having a loose console sub-cat (due to many consoles sharing multiple different boxes)
- NES/FC
- SNES/SFC
- GC
- Wii
- SMS
- Gen/MD
- Saturn
- Dreamcast

Potential Poll options for question: Create new sub-cats for loose consoles?
1. Yes: create loose console catagories as needed and make entries for all console models
2. No: allow creation of loose console entries but only for console models that are not known what box they came in.
3. No: leave it as is and the user can use the Checkbox and Notes field when adding an item into their collection.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 03:19:08 pm by tripredacus »

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 12:09:46 pm »
If it were allowed to catalog loose consoles for certain categories, would it allow for the creation of all loose console entries or simply the creation of entries for consoles that cannot be pinned down to a specific boxed release?

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2021, 12:58:50 pm »
We already have that, it's the Case/Box checkbox. Adding loose consoles would be a mess.

tripredacus

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2021, 03:15:34 pm »
Dhaabi: the idea would be to be able to list all versions, not just the ones that can't be IDed into a retail release. That doesn't mean that it isn't a bad idea to consider allowing (temporary) loose entries until a release is identified.

I have updated the end of the first post with the additional options.

pzeke

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2021, 06:42:17 pm »
We already have that, it's the Case/Box checkbox. Adding loose consoles would be a mess.

+1
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aliensstudios

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2021, 09:43:31 pm »
I would love this. I currently only track my consoles if I have the box, but I have like six consoles I don't track in the database because I don't know which variation it is since I don't have the box.
"I collect vidya games and vidya game accessories, I tell you what."

retromangia

PRO Supporter

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2021, 11:18:19 pm »
A good idea, but part of me thinks it will just add confusion. Sometimes less is more.

pzeke

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 02:31:49 am »
I would love this. I currently only track my consoles if I have the box, but I have like six consoles I don't track in the database because I don't know which variation it is since I don't have the box.

Pretty sure those consoles have a serial number or any other form of ID that you can use to cross check to verify which variation you have - that's what I did with the few I have that are loose.

Honestly, I don't see the point in adding loose consoles, even after reading the original post twice to try and convince myself otherwise. But then again, we're permitted to add the accessories consoles come with, like controllers or pack-in games...although some would argue there's a difference there. Still, even though I understand this website aims to be as thorough as possible, I think there's a limit to that. If there were to be a console that somehow couldn't be identified, like maybe someone finds a Vectrex variant one day while thrifting and fails to find proper info on it online, then I can see and understand adding that as a loose console. Otherwise, to say that allowing the inclusion of loose consoles will be a confusing mess is an understatement. But hey, there's no order without chaos, right?
I know your every move behind this face; I have control over expendable slaves.
When confrontation comes down to the wire, I'll use my cyclotrode to commence the fire.
You're never gonna get me!

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2021, 08:27:48 am »
We already have that, it's the Case/Box checkbox. Adding loose consoles would be a mess.

+1
+1

tripredacus

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2021, 08:56:58 am »
I would love this. I currently only track my consoles if I have the box, but I have like six consoles I don't track in the database because I don't know which variation it is since I don't have the box.

I have always treated it as a "find a best match" type situation. For example, prior to going about and attempting to document which Genesis consoles came in which boxes, for any loose console I had, I would pick something that was either most common or a "Core System" in case of Genesis. Or in the case of my US Saturn, I picked the one that came with Virtua Fighter because I also have that game. After research into that is done, it may turn out that the console I have is not the one that is in that box, so then I may have to change what item is in my collection.

leonefamily

PRO Supporter

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 07:22:58 pm »
We already have that, it's the Case/Box checkbox. Adding loose consoles would be a mess.

+1
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Cartagia

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2021, 07:35:27 pm »



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retromangia

PRO Supporter

Re: Style Discussion: Adding the ability to track loose consoles
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2021, 02:42:35 am »
Ya know, after some heavy consideration, having an option for loose consoles would be a nice addition.

It really all depends on which system were talking about. Tracking your loose PS2 systems are easy to identify, because they all have specific hardware model's for which we can track them by.

However, as Trip was saying, the earlier systems such as SNES and Genesis don't have specific model #'s between the many internal hardware revisions. So looking at the list of options now, If you were to add a loose SNES console to your collection, you really have no way of knowing whether that SNES console came from a "Control Deck" box, or a "Donkey Kong Country" Box set. Your just kind of taking a shot in the dark.

So yes, I concur :)