Microsoft’s Xbox One console has always been shown sitting horizontally, and we now know that its position wasn’t chosen because it’s aesthetically pleasing.
According to Albert Penello, senior director of product management at Xbox, the next-gen console wasn’t designed to sit upright and warns gamers to do so only at their own risk:
“We don’t support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk,” Penello told GameSpot at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. “It wouldn’t be a cooling problem, we just didn’t design the drive for vertical.
“Because it’s a slot loading drive, we just didn’t design it for both.”
It appears that Microsoft fashioned the Xbox One to sit horizontally based on the majority figures that state over 80% of users keep their Xbox 360’s in a horizontal position. The vertical position can save quite a bit of space, however, so its nice to have that option.
The console itself is meant to be a central device to any home theater experience, featuring integration among all major entertainment outlets from television to gaming, and Xbox One’s form factor seems to be in line with its role.
All console owners know not to move the console while a disc is spinning–a scenario that can lead to devastating results for said disc–however it would be interesting to know just what complications and damages that can arise from an Xbox One left in a prolonged vertical stance.
Additionally Penello cites the slot-loading drive’s designation for horizontal-only functionality, yet there are many consoles with slot-loading drives that can be set in multiple positions: Sony’s original (and slim) PS3 as well as their next-gen PS4 for instance.
Hopefully Microsoft will make an effort to warn gamers with a series of official statements–or even a warning on the box–of the Xbox One’s horizontal-only stance, as more than a few gamers will be disappointed when their $500 system suddenly stops working.
Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox One console is slated to release across multiple markets on Nov. 22, 2013 for a retail price of $499.