The original Xbox One launch was an abject debacle. From the very start, the questionable software choices and absurd hardware deign aesthetics of the console alienated many and the results showed; the PS4 has continually outsold the Xbox One 2:1. I also stayed away, despite being massive Xbox 360 fan in the previous generation. Since then, the Xbox team have been on a journey of redemption. From overturning the more restrictive and onerous software choices, to releasing the beautiful Xbox One S (a hardware revision of the launch console) to the current pinnacle of their redemption, the Xbox One X, whose mission was solely to correct the power deficit between the launch PS4/Xbox One and meet the challenge of the PS4 Pro.
The Xbox One X is an undeniably beautiful machine. The minimalist, monolithic unibody structure simultaneously creates a foreboding, mysterious mood yet curiously friendly vibe; a muted look that hides some tremendous power which allows it to easily surpass its nearest rival, the PS4 Pro.
The entire case is uninterrupted except for the rear and side grills for ventilation, and a singular USB, Eject, and Power Buttons. Thankfully this time as well, the PSU is housed within the console itself, and not in an ungainly power brick which previous Xbox’s were guilty for. The machine is also demonstrably a lot quieter than other machines, owed partly due to the fact that Microsoft put a vapour chamber heat sink in the machine. Despite all this, the Xbox One X is also smaller than the comparable PS4 Pro.
It’s an absolute marvel of Microsoft’s industrial design and hardware teams and I’m excited as to what they can deliver in the next generation as well as more broadly in Microsoft.
Below is the Xbox 360 ‘E’, which is the previous generation behind the Xbox One X. And, bear with me here, is the 3rd and last design revision of the Xbox 360 console generation. It shares the same design language as the original Xbox One, and is probably one the last remnants of Microsoft’s old product design, an between phase been the old excesses and a desire to switch to something more modern and flat (exhibited perfectly by the Xbox One X). You can see how much the team have grown and matured since then.
Below is the first iteration of the Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 ‘Elite’ alongside the ‘E’ and the Xbox One X. The in-between design phase is perfectly illustrated here.
The Xbox 360 did one thing perfect and it was their controller, and it’s clear they knew were on to a winner as the design remains largely unchanged.
Unfortunately the biggest complaint I have about the controller is that it still uses AA batteries. Given that the PS4 launched with a rechargeable controller there’s no excuse why Microsoft couldn’t have done the same. It’s the only thing that mars and otherwise perfect controller.