The Xbox One is -- we think it's fair to say -- the best-looking Xbox that Microsoft has ever made. That said its design has raised a few questions, the most notable of which is: Why is the Xbox One so big?
It's considerably larger than Sony's PS4, taking up a substantial amount more real estate both in terms of height and width, and yet on paper, the PS4 should be larger.
Well Carl Ledbetter, lead designer for the Xbox One has finally spoken out and has -- to some extent at least -- explained why.
“Everybody gets frustrated, because what we want is for everything to be wafer thin, not get hot and just be a snap to put together,”
“But the reality is that there are very real issues around cooling when you’re pushing some number of watts in the processor, therefore the thing has to have some size to it. There’s always an interesting dynamic between engineering and design, and constraints around performance.”
In a rare interview with MCV the designer spoke candidly about Microsoft's triumphs and mistakes, in particular the original Xbox controller saying:
“An example of something we got wrong was the first Xbox controller, it worked, but it wasn’t the right size for people. For the Xbox One, there has been a bunch of things that, I don’t know if they were wrong, but they weren’t appropriate or they weren’t the ideal solution. Usually, we do enough testing that it wouldn’t go out the door if it wasn’t right.”
Ledbetter goes on to point out that inevitably and like all games consoles of recent years, this will almost certainly not be the final design with new iterations coming out as hardware capabilities improve.
Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 went through a number of radical redesigns bringing the console's size down drastically.