This is not an original idea from me, I saw it when reading through a thread quite some time ago. The name of the one who suggested it escapes me, so unfortunately I can't give credit. But at the time I saw the suggestion, I didn't really think much of it, but as I've been playing and trying to figure out just how to outfit my ships while accommodating their "special consoles," I realized, "Wow... it really would be super helpful if these "universal consoles," particularly the ones that can only be used on the ship it came on, were a device so I wouldn't have to agonize over which arguably more useful console I was going to give up." Removing tactical consoles is out of the question, so the decision becomes, am I going to cripple my shields? have no armor? reduce turn rate cause I won't have room for an rcs?
It would also make the device slots not quite so freaking useless. If you don't spec into batteries, and even if you do, they do next to nothing and have a ridiculously long cool. Many "universal consoles" are just a nice to have, but not uber, thing anyway with relatively long cools or relatively low boosts, so it wouldn't be game breaking to make them a device. It would also give cruisers a bit of a boost by making those four device slots far more useful.
Though I do realize that some ships with few device slots could find universal consoles becoming devices to be a horrible and limiting change, so perhaps the best solution would be for most, if not all, universal consoles to have the special ability to be equipped to the device slots as well as console slots. That way ships with fewer device slots still have the option of giving up console space if they want to equip a whole bunch of universals, which I think would be quite fair, and the larger ships logically have more room to equip random universal consoles before they have to start giving up their 'standard compliment' to accommodate them.
So, what do the rest of you think? Would making universal consoles able to equip to console slots AND device slots break the game, or would it finally give you something to do with your device slots and make you far more interested in universal consoles?