Of the myriad facets of game hardware design, the big honking truth behind a console's color scheme may not necessarily rank among the most fascinating of details. It's something that we don't give too much thought about, especially in an era where most machines are available in a swath of colors to suit our mood. But when said truth involves Nintendo's first console, you know it's going to be golden.
Contrary to the gray VCR-like form of its Western counterpart, the NES, the Famicom was an adorable white box with dark red accents. It was previously believed that this color combo was chosen because red and white plastics were the cheapest at the time. But according to Masayuki Uemura, hardware designer for the Famicom, the real reason was far less financially motivated.
Speaking to Japan's Weekly Playboy, Uemaru states that Nintendo originally planned to use a steel frame for the chassis, but it turned out to be too fragile and a hard white plastic was used instead. As for the red, he explains, "The reason why we used the dark red was simply due to an order from the company's president [Hiroshi Yamauchi]. Our President often wore a scarf that was a similar dark red color, with the reason being this was a color he liked."
So there you have it. The Famicom was red because former head honcho Yamauchi was extremely attached to his scarf. If Linus from Peanuts had been running Nintendo then, would we have had a baby blue Famicom that matched his security blanket?
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