Game Boy was one of the most popular electronic products of the '90s; one challenger after the other attempted to dethrone it and failed miserably. Game Boy single-handedly defended its rule despite being technically inferior to every single black competitor. What gives, general populace?
Game Boy (combined with the purple Game Boy Color) eventually sold 118 million units worldwide, including many alternate colors like red, yellow and, in a bold move, black. The Game Boy Advance, released in 2001, came in two shades of purple, Arctic white, silver, blue and black, among other colors. No real opposition, though N-Gage, Gizmondo and Zodiac (all black) tried to fight for scraps.
For the third generation in a row, white consoles pummeled the opposition. Even Nintendo, a proud king with number-one machines both in the living room and in gamers' pockets, couldn't make the black N64 a winner. Nintendo's first black console also marked the first time it met clear defeat at retail (for myriad reasons). Maybe that's why Nintendo decided to quickly flood the market with new N64 colors, which, when viewed 10 years later, seem more than a bit suggestive. Keep in mind these are the official color names, so any conclusions you come to are your own.
So, yeah. There's that. The only ones we left out were the Pikachu N64 (which nobody wants to see again) and Atomic Purple. Proof that trying to hide your original color with a flood of questionably themed variants isn't enough to save the day.
Another unfortunate casualty of Sony's entrance was Sega Saturn, which suffered from the very moment it was prematurely released into the market. A white Saturn did exist, but it just wasn't enough to survive against the dusty grey PSX and the N64's multi-colored rainbow assault. Still, some people felt so strongly about the new "better" Saturn they made this video celebrating all things white:
It's not as if the color actually factors in to the quality of the console - it just so happens that most of the time, nearly every time, the black one suffers from some unforeseen, debilitating setback that keeps it down. Nintendo 64 has a large list of grievances, as do Jaguar, 3DO and many others, but the trend at this point in time is quite clear: don't make your system black.
Now, with all these dead and buried, Sony dared to release its own Home-Theater-Black successor against Sega's first default-white console. Wonder how that'll turn out..,