A widely held belief among design practitioners is that an ideal design solution is the one that meets all the requirements while minimizing surplus cost incurred by exceeding requirements. In this research, we challenge this notion by exploring if providing design “excess”, the ability of a solution to exceed certain requirements, can increase the value of a solution to its end users. A case study is performed in the video game industry to explore if design excess is prevalent and its impact on the industry. This study is performed by examining various PC builds (budget, mid-range, and high-end dream) and gaming consoles (Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation) over an 18-year period. Based on a thorough investigation of video game requirements and capacity of different hardware, we find that design excess has existed in computer hardware and is intentionally used as a design property. The results indicate that mid-range solution provide the greatest value to its customers. Further, PC excess based value is adjusted during years when consoles are released. Using measurements of excess, this study also reveals a shift in technology push versus pull that occurs during the mid-2000s and is observable through the lens of system excess.

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