When you’re designing a toaster or a movie player, it doesn’t need to look nice or make a statement. It just needs to look nice enough to sell to your consumers. When you’re building a console, you’ve only got one or two competitors, and everything about your system will stand out that much more.
You won’t see a reveal video for a new toaster here (unless you’re into that, let us know), but when pictures of the Xbox One hit last week and again when the PlayStation 4’s look is finally public in a couple weeks, pictures will be all over TechnoBuffalo and the Internet at large.
In an article posted yesterday, the designers behind the Xbox One go in depth about the reasoning behind the look and feel of the new console. As Kotaku notes, the article about the Xbox One’s design is, at the very least, partially PR fluff. But if you’re a fan of the thought that goes into the design of consumer electronics and user interfaces, there’s a lot worth checking out.
The design of the console itself and the UI, for example, are meant to visually complement each other, with both invoking the 16:9 ratio of the high definition televisions the console will be played on. That’s right, they didn’t just say “make it look like one of those VCRs all the kids have!”
Most interesting, though, is the use of “Liquid Black” in the system’s core elements. Liquid black is the “blackest black create-able,” according to the article. This bit of PR fluff is paired with a bit of duh-level common sense: “This selection was motivated by the same guidance followed by high-definition TV manufacturers: dark colors accentuate content and bring the entertainment experience to the forefront.” Microsoft did the same thing every TV manufacturer does for the same reason they do it.
The controller, though, is black to enhance visibility, making the lettered buttons pop against the black background. The Xbox One’s UI is similarly dark to make the boxed content floating over it more visible, suggesting that we won’t be applying themes to our dashboards this time around. More likely there will be a set of subtle, pre-styled themes included, as was the case with Windows 8 and Zune before it.
The article also goes into the design process that led up to the current console and the huge number of prototypes that preceded the May 21st reveal:
“Before the team arrived at Xbox One’s final design, the team created 200 controller models, more than one hundred different versions of the Kinect sensor and “dozens and dozens” of console prototypes. Some prototypes reflected substantial design changes. Others incorporated subtle improvements…”
Sadly, there are no photos of the various iterations. Hopefully a few will escape in the night (it shouldn’t be hard to sneak out all that liquid black) for us to see what could have been. Prototype consoles and controllers can be demonstrative of dead ends the team ran up against during the creative process, ideas that were abandoned before they could fully mature or concepts that became impractical.
If this all sounds fun, check out the link at the bottom of the article for more detail.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Store all the things with these bookshelves
Bookshelves aren't just for books. They can hold movies, video games, knickknacks, and add a touch of style to any home. These bookshelves are built to fit in any home on any budget.