Many of you probably thought, and continue to think that the Xbox One‘s design is crap. Or perhaps you just assumed that Microsoft didn’t put in any effort into the next-gen gaming console’s aesthetic. Well think again.
Today, at the Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013, Xbox creative director Carl Ledbetter showed off many of the failed Xbox One prototypes. The team, which is composed of 30 artists, first starts with a visual draft sketched on paper. They then send those into an in-house modeling shop which build the actual box. Microsoft then carefully tests the box’s appeal in real-world environments, such as people’s living rooms. Presumably the team doesn’t reveal to the participants what the box will be used for, or they just swear them to secrecy with a bucket full of cash – who knows. Provided the box is a success, the team would then try to determine how to cram the gaming console’s internals inside, though this approach seems some what backwards.
Once MSFT reached a final design they began to tweak the other components, such as the branding, the vents, and choosing where to apply a gloss or matte finish. Interestingly enough, the Xbox team used high definition TVs as a point of inspiration.
In total, according to Ledbetter, Microsoft created over 200 Xbox One controller prototypes, which are also printed in-house to maintain secrecy. Apparently, people are so sensitive to each controllers design, they could tell the difference between a 10th of a millimeter in size.