Microsoft reveals more on its 'liquid black' design for Xbox One

We know that inside Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One game console it will have a system-on-a-chip hardware co-designed by AMD. But what about the outside design for the console, Kinect sensor and controller? Today, Microsoft offered up a little more information on how they came up with the designs behind the Xbox One.

In a new Xbox Wire blog post, along with a new YouTube video, Xbox design team members revealed that the color of the main Xbox One console, along with the Kinect sensor and the controller, is called "liquid black" which it says is the "blackest black creatable" for a molded resin. Microsoft states:

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 "dozens and dozens”.

The controller's liquid black color also allows the colored A, B, X and Y buttons to look like they are 'floating' on top of the device, according to Microsoft.

The actual design process for the Xbox One started in late 2010, with the team coming up with "dozens and dozens” of different prototypes for the main consoles, along with over 100 different designs for the new Kinect sensor and over 200 prototypes for the controller. The UI of the Xbox One's dashboard, while clearly based on the Modern interface made for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, has also been altered so that it works well with large screen televisions. 

Source: Microsoft

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They made it Glossy black so they could sell "Microsoft Xbox One surface protectors" for the low low price of $49 and makes your shiny gloss system look cloudy and resist fingerprints lol

I kind of want a white version now. I have a white wall behind my console, my white 360 looks great. I'm sure they make one in the future.

It was funny during the presentation they said one of the OS's it has on it was "Windows" ... they said just "Windows" even though they are using the kernel and stuff from "Windows 8".

My guess is that if Windows 8 was well received they would have said "One of the OS layers is "Windows 8" But they want to keep the name "Windows 8" as far away as possible.

warwagon said,
It was funny during the presentation they said one of the OS's it has on it was "Windows" ... they said just "Windows" even though they are using the kernel and stuff from "Windows 8".

My guess is that if Windows 8 was well received they would have said "One of the OS layers is "Windows 8" But they want to keep the name "Windows 8" as far away as possible.

they actually just said it runs on the windows kernel, and they didn't say it runs windows 8, because it doesn't run windows 8. Just like how they don't say WindowsRT runs windows 8. Its just a kernel,and it may have a WinRT runtime component to it, but it still doesn't make it windows 8.

vcfan said,

they actually just said it runs on the windows kernel, and they didn't say it runs windows 8, because it doesn't run windows 8. Just like how they don't say WindowsRT runs windows 8. Its just a kernel,and it may have a WinRT runtime component to it, but it still doesn't make it windows 8.

actually, windowsRT is a full windows 8, just recompiled for another architecture... only reason you cant run windows apps on it is because it's not x86 compatible... and they put a signature lockdown on it also to limit apps from being written for the desktop end of it

Or they say Windows so much that they don't think to specify? Windows 8 is just fine and why would they distance themselves? Given the improvements with 8.1, I think it'll start to get received rather well. After all the only people who don't like it are the ones that are lost without the start menu.

neufuse said,

actually, windowsRT is a full windows 8, just recompiled for another architecture... only reason you cant run windows apps on it is because it's not x86 compatible... and they put a signature lockdown on it also to limit apps from being written for the desktop end of it

I do know and understand that windowsrt is just recompiled windows 8 for arm. the last sentence was talking about the xbox one,not windows rt. I only mentioned windows rt because even though its a recompiled windows 8, they still dont call it windows 8.

I hate glossy black... I prefer matte black to prevent the reflections ... as you see in the video that you can see the reflections on the xbox console from the wall due the lights in the background.. half glossy and half flat black.

Good thing that I have matte black on my xbox 360s all over.

I saw people going nuts when the PS4 teasers show matte black, as opposed to the gloss. If that's anything to go on, not sure how everyone will feel about the gloss on the One.

(I personally don't care one way or another)

I'm not bothered about having a big flashy console, I prefer mines to blend in. Instead of two USB's at the front there is now one to the side but at least they got rid of the stupid flaps. The back looks like it's easier to plug stuff in but this Xbox One looks big. I was hoping to see something smaller than the Xbox 360 but I would rather have performance/being quiet over that. It is actually still smaller than the Fat PS3, I'm interested in what size the PS4 will be.

Edited by Gaffney, May 30 2013, 6:46pm :

I don't find it particularly attractive or exciting. I think the original PS3 was pretty unique and had an interesting look to it. Looks like the PS4 might be a bit on the understated side like the Xbox One, if I can tell anything from the teasers.

Titoist - I am sorry but do you have one already that you actually scratched up? How do you know this already? Do tell...

My house doesn't get dusty in two days I can tell you that so not sure if that is a good generalized statement

Also plastics are more resistant to scratches than lets say paint. Use a microfiber towel and dont' rub it in. Or use a feather duster and it won't need to be cleaned with a towel or cleaner for a while. Depending how anal someone is perhaps

I like the design elements and details. They are paying attention to everything lately.

I will be one of the first for a pre-order I can tell you that. I like more of the TV integration than anything else. I like Apple TV but without Netflix or Hulu it would be useless. I do push out movies with Air-Video from my NAS at home though Love that it can take almost any format and just push it out Air-Video has kept me using the Apple TV. Roku2 still sitting in the box for the other room.

Pretty much what DARKFiB3R said, it drives me absolutely crazy. Would much prefer a matte black look or if they had just stuck with the texture they have on the front portion around the Blu Ray drive. From a design perspective how they did it may look better but in practical terms it sucks.

MVD said,
Yes, blend it into the background so you forget its spying on you and anyone else in your living room.

Paranoia is cringeworthy lol

The design is nice and all but after 2 days it will show dust like crazy and if you wipe it once... it will have micro-scratches to the 9000!

Titoist said,
The design is nice and all but after 2 days it will show dust like crazy and if you wipe it once... it will have micro-scratches to the 9000!

Well, here's hoping they thought about durability... But yeah, this is definitely going to show dust... LOL

Titoist said,
The design is nice and all but after 2 days it will show dust like crazy and if you wipe it once... it will have micro-scratches to the 9000!

And you know this how? My shiny 360s isn't scratched and I have multiple kids, pets and people using it.. even moved It 1500 miles

Other then jacking people for more money it would of been logical IMO for this next gen Xbox to have integrated the Connect with the Xbox One unit.

cropcircles said,
Other then jacking people for more money it would of been logical IMO for this next gen Xbox to have integrated the Connect with the Xbox One unit.

Why would Microsoft integrate their beta and testing system into xbox one? *snickers*

cropcircles said,
Other then jacking people for more money it would of been logical IMO for this next gen Xbox to have integrated the Connect with the Xbox One unit.

That would only work if everyone put the console right in front of the TV.

Kinect is insanely integrated into the Xbox. It cannot be part of the actual Xbox hardware because people put Xbox's in cabinets and other areas that would not be suitable for both the Kinect camera, sensors, and microphone array.

Not everyone has their console in a good and visible place, where the Kinect should be in an open space where it can view the participants who will be playing the game...

I for one, ran a usb extension cable through my wall (tv is mounted on the wall) and put my webcam (MS 1080p wide-angle HD) on-top of the TV... I might just replace it with the new Kinect camera in the future!

but then people will complain about not being able to turn off the kinect and it will always be spying on people and not being able to remove it... oh wait...

cropcircles said,
Other then jacking people for more money it would of been logical IMO for this next gen Xbox to have integrated the Connect with the Xbox One unit.

As the others have said, its about flexibility of location. My 360 is down low below the TV, whereas the sensor is mounted on top of it. A fully integrated sensor would be less flexible in terms of where it could be located, and our current setup would actually be XBO unfriendly if it was.

brianshapiro said,
Its so black it celebrates kwanzaa.

This can be a very hilarious laugh. However, this joke is best left amongst friends and not viewable to over 2 billion people.

(I did chuckle though