Which Game Console Was Designed to Discourage Drink-Related Damage?
Answer: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Released to North American audiences in 1991, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) had a different exterior than the Super Famicom (the Japanese version of the SNES). The differences were more than simply cosmetic, however.
Specifically, the SNES case was designed with raised buttons, tiered surfaces, and a curved cartridge bay whereas the Super Famicom was, by comparison, nearly flat. At first glance, it may just appear to be an aesthetic choice, but it was driven by careful market testing and feedback from Nintendo repair centers.
The U.S. version of the first generation Nintendo console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, was a very boxy console with a flat top. So flat that players would frequently place drinks on top of it and, albeit less frequently, would spill those same drinks. When it came time to launch a new North American console, the design was tweaked specifically to discourage players from placing things on top of the unit and thereby decrease the number of consoles sent in for repairs.