Xbox Wire

Designing Xbox One

By Lisa Gurry, Editor of Xbox Wire
Our friends at Gizmodo posted an interesting interview today on the design of Xbox One after speaking with Leo Del Castillo. You can view the interview here.

While we’re talking about Xbox One design, we thought we’d share this video on the design of Xbox One, featuring other members of the design team. A few interesting facts from the video highlighted below:




  1. The design of Xbox One began in late 2010 and the team worked on hundreds of different design concepts. You can see prototype examples of the console and controller through-out the video.

  2. Xbox One is built on a design language based on a 16:9 ratio, which is the number that describes the width-to-height ratio most common in today’s high-definition wide screen TVs. The aspect ratio is naturally pleasing to the eye, and synonymous with cinematic presentation and the living room entertainment experience, two qualities that the Xbox team wanted embodied by Xbox One.

  3. The design language is visible in Xbox One’s hardware. The console is evenly divided between the matte and gloss –the front in particular clearly reflects this symmetry– and the top brings together two even rectangles, where the vent panel’s edge detail matches the appearance of a selected tile in the user interface. 

  4. Liquid black is the color used on all of the Xbox One components – the blackest black the team could achieve. The console and Kinect sensor are liquid black so they melt into the background when being used, allowing the content on your TV to dominate the living room. The user interface is overlaid on the same shade of deep black so that the content tiles on the dashboard are more vivid and easier to navigate and interact with. Even the wireless controller uses liquid black to enhance visibility.

  5. The design language, which uses a series of tiles and fluid motion, is steeped in the same DNA as Modern UI, the unifying language shared by Microsoft products like Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface. Xbox One’s interpretation of the tile system is unique for entertainment – pushing content forward, so you see the content you care about.

  6. The Kinect sensor has the RGB camera as the focal point, other sensors are behind the lens. The team used a three layer process to create the front lens to make it feel like part of the television. The goal was to make the Kinect sensor feel like an optical, high-grade, high-definition lens that fits into the living room.

To read more about the design of Xbox One, go here

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