What is the video game color of consoles: A mildly scientific study

This thread was inspired by antillese's question asked in episode 248: If muddy brown is the color of Xbox 360 games, what is the video game color of other consoles?

I started thinking -- is there a way to determine the "color" of other consoles? So, with an afternoon to kill, I started putting together a method:

First, I gathered the top 9 best-selling games from the console (I just picked 9 because I figured it would look good on a grid). To keep it to games that were associated with that particular console, I removed any games that were released on other consoles within a year of original release. I also removed sequels to capture diversity of content.

I then took 5 random screenshots from MobyGames, blurred them, layered them on top of each other, and sampled a 31x31 area from the center of the image to capture the "color" of that game. I then averaged the colors of the games to come up with the color of the console. The results ended up being fairly gray (which makes sense) so I also included a saturated version of the color to better differentiate between consoles.

Here are the results for the PS2. It took way longer than I thought to do the one, so I'll release new consoles as time permits.

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/UB477MA.png]

I would not have guessed windsor tan for the PS2, but this appears to be an objective fact

First: I’m flattered and delighted you were inspired! This was pretty much what I was imagining.

Second: MGS2 has a distinct visual style and also a distinct color. I posit the distinct color may lead directly to its visual uniqueness.

I can’t wait to see what else you do with this!!

This is a cool exercise - I‘ll be surprised if averaged results will wind up being super different, since I reckon brown, Grey, etc tend to be the average when mashed together - but it’s interesting to see some of the individual games having different hues at least, so I'm curious to see where this goes!

Alright I'm back with what we can all agree is the largest of the consoles, the Xbox:

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/HHdbhxH.png]

I changed the methodology a little, using 10 screenshots instead of 5, and getting the average color of the whole image, rather than just the center.

My biggest takeaway is that the Xbox is way darker than the PS2.

@"exodus"#p81662 My hope is that if I gather enough of these, we'll be able to identify the "average videogame gray" and see the colors of the consoles relative to each other. But I agree the individual games have been the most interesting part so far. For example, KotR is impressively neutral, clocking in at an almost perfect gray. What does that say about the game? I don't really know!

Also if anyone has requests for consoles they’re curious about, let me know and I can try to do those next.

@“manalive”#p82213 GBA

Alright, here's the GBA:

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/xWXXs2I.png]

Some notes:

  • - A lot of the top selling games were re-releases (Super Mario Advance series, Namco Museum, Pacman Collection, Link to the Past, NES Classics Series, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land). I'm not sure whether any of these count as games in their own right, but I left them out
  • - Yu-Gi-Oh! The Eternal Duelist Soul should've made the list, but I had a hard time finding high quality captures, and overall it didn't seem as popular as other GBA games? The next two on the list were Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Sonic Advance, so I opted to go with Sonic because a) it seems more popular and b) it seemed more "Insert Credit"
  • - As (maybe) expected, way way brighter than the PS2 and Xbox. Special shoutout to Sonic for that beautiful baby blue
  • This is some cool stuff!

    I have a few questions, if that's okay:

  • * What calculation are you doing when you say you are calculating "the average colour", and within which colour space are you working?
  • * If you're doing it in RGB, are you taking the combined RGB hex as a number and averaging that, or are you calculating the average of the red, green, and blue channels separately and recombining?
  • * It might be interesting to see if or by how much looking at the average hue angle is different to the average in RGB
  • * Is there any consideration for the uneven way we as humans perceive colour? If not, (and this is an open question, not a leading one) I wonder if there would be much (or any) merit in doing so?
  • * I'm tempted to wonder about which console on average has more saturated colours, however that would be easily effected by the screenshots - likely moreso than overall colour itself.
  • that’s the grass green on all GBA games in my memory yeah

    @“manalive”#p83265 wow, yeah, it really is the GBA grass colour!

    Gonna codename my original xbox “Black Bean” now.