Stack of rejected Xbox One designs.
During Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 today, they showed off several designs for their upcoming Xbox One that were ultimately rejected for the current look.
Carl Ledbetter, the Xbox creative director, characterized Microsoft’s approach as both “Understated” and “approachable”, and proceeded to show off several of the rejected designs. These ranged from tiny to tall, smooth to angular, and familiar to foreign.
Said Mr. Ledbetter, “We wanted to make it simple and elegant, and we wanted it to be crafted and tailored, so it’s all about quality. Using those principles, we started to design.”
The team started off with sketches, which they sent to an in-house model shop. This shop proceeded to build prototypes of the models in real world environments, then worked with the engineering team to determine how the interal parts would fit into each model of the console.
Mr. Ledbetter, upon reaching the consoles final design in the slideshow, stated, “The design you see here, this is where we start to apply things like gloss and matte finishes. How does the vent pattern look? How does the brand come through the front? How do we make the font look high quality, just like the high definition televisions in people’s living rooms?”
It wasn’t just the console that had several rejected versions, however. Mr. Ledbetter went on to state that Microsoft created over 200 different prototypes for the console’s controller, which were, like the Xbox One models, printed out in-house. Mr. Ledbetter stated, “We found that, when people put these in their hands, could tell the difference between a 10th of a millimeter in size.”