Microsoft: 'We don't support vertical orientation' for Xbox One

Microsoft has always shown the Xbox One positioned horizontally when it has display the upcoming console at events like E3 and in press pictures. It has never shown the case in a vertical pose. That should have been a big clue that the company didn't intend for the Xbox One to be used vertically.

This week, Microsoft confirmed that notion in an interview at Gamespot during the Tokyo Game Show. Albert Penello, the senior director of product management and planning for the Xbox division, stated:

We don't support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk ... 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.

All three of the case designs for the current Xbox 360 can be used in horizontal and vertical positions as can Sony's PlayStation 3 models. The upcoming PS4 also can be used in both poses. However, the fact that there is no support for using the Xbox One vertically shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Penello told Gamespot in the same interview that 80 percent of all Xbox 360 owners place the console horizontally.

Source: GameSpot

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

One slide shows Steve Ballmer was a pretty good CEO for Microsoft

Next Story

Another leaked photo of Nokia Lumia 1520 shows off its massive screen

56 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I still think it looks like a VCR and mabye this is why they are upset about the layout change. They like people saying it looks like a VCR. If you turn it the other way it doesn't look like a VCR.

You can pretty much guarantee that a good chunk of consumers will put it on its side and blame Microsoft for it breaking.

Hrmm im slightly surprised they didn't accommodate for this although with its size and boxy design im not sure the xbox1 would look good up on its side.

Do you put your set top box or DVR on its side, as that's kind of what the xbox1 design reminds me of.

Hmmm I'd say 80% of the maybe 25 people I know with an Xbox 360 use it vertically. The footprint is so much smaller that way, it's great for tiny dorm rooms and apartments. I've got a giant built-in and I still use mine vertically.

How about a survey...anyone else vertical?

"Because it's a slot loading drive, we just didn't design it for both."

I don't follow the 'logic' here, this reads like a non-sequitor. There are many slot loaders that work vertically, such as the Wii, Wii U, PS3, PS4.

insanelyapple said,
Even VHS was able to work in vertical orientation...

What's your point? VHS spindles didn't spin at insanely high speeds while being suspended in thin air just millimetres over a fragile laser lens. Lets not forget that VHS had it's own problems with tapes getting chewed, etc

I suppose the system for clamping the disc to the spindle hasn't been tested to establish MTBF.

That said, I don't plan on using the optical drive for anything, so I"ll stand it up.

Wouldn't surprise me if they put an accelerometer in the thing to detect orientation that would void warranties if people stood it up

Independent of lack of design / laziness, etc. I don't think how the console is positioned is a make or break decision for the majority of people for either console.

This is complete non-news, it's on loads of sites as if it's something important.
Next we'll be seeing stories that the Xbox one should not be placed in a hammock when in use.

OMG this is what was left to argue about? really? guess what, you can't put them upside down either whereas I can do that with my N64.

CygnusOrion said,
Oh boy... More heartburn in Redmond today.

Pleeeaassse.... this is a mild, almost silent hiccup, at worst

I expect a video from the playstation crew, "This is how you turn your Playstation 4 on its side" like the "This is how you share Playstation games" in 5.... 4..... 3.....

10year old excuses.
It would be more believable to be a cooling problem, because the air vent/holes would be blocked that way, rather than the slot loading drive.

Then you'd have people complaining that MS went to lazy route when designing the ventilation. MS didn't design the slot-loading drive. They chose that drive for some reason and it doesn't support being positioned vertically. It's very reasonable.

Besides the technical reasons, that goes along with the set-top box aesthetic they're marketing. They want to sell it as more than just another game console refresh.

It just doesn't look like it was built to stand up vertically either. That's what I thought when they first showed it to us back in May. As for the drive thing, maybe we'll get more details about that, I suppose it works in the end just that they didn't test it enough to feel confident to say to people, sure do it if you want, so they're covering their bases.

I don't really care, but reason "because it's a slot loading drive" is a bit weak. PS3, Wii and even the iMac all have slot loading drives that work in the vertical position.

I'll be buying a PS4, but not because of this. I never turn my console on its end anyway, too easy for it to get knocked over unless you stack something against it to hold it up, which then holds in heat and makes it get hot.

LUTZIFER said,
Sweet, exactly how it should be. Never did understand why devices were ever made to stand upwards.

To save space in certain circumstances. And in the case of the PS3, I reckon it provides better ventilation, due to the vents on the right-hand side of the console when it's horizontal; having it vertical means the vents are on top with nothing to obscure them.

It may provide better ventilation for one end of the device, but stood vertically all the hot air from the bottom has to rise over the rest of the components, which probably nullifies any benefit having vents at the top had.

So long as I can still stand the PS4 up. The XBO will have to fit in the usual slot given how big it is. If they both didn't stand up, I guess I'd have to arrange for a new setup or something...

Because it's a slot loading drive, we just didn't design it for both.

Is anyone else confused by this? The PS3 has a slot-loading drive and it supports both orientations. An iMac has a slot-loading disc drive in it and it's always vertical on there. That just sounds lazy. If they didn't design it for both orientations, I wouldn't point to the slot-loading drive as the reason, it'd be the size of the console; even though I've only got room to stand consoles vertically in my room (I did use to stack the PS3 and 360 horizontally on top of each other, but I don't fancy risking a hardware fault from one console being stressed by the weight of the other on top of it), I wouldn't be confident having an Xbox One up horizontally. That's irrelevant to me anyway, as the only way I'm getting one is if I end up winning one through their Upload Outreach Program.

MightyJordan said,

Is anyone else confused by this? The PS3 has a slot-loading drive and it supports both orientations. An iMac has a slot-loading disc drive in it and it's always vertical on there. That just sounds lazy. If they didn't design it for both orientations, I wouldn't point to the slot-loading drive as the reason, it'd be the size of the console; even though I've only got room to stand consoles vertically in my room (I did use to stack the PS3 and 360 horizontally on top of each other, but I don't fancy risking a hardware fault from one console being stressed by the weight of the other on top of it), I wouldn't be confident having an Xbox One up horizontally. That's irrelevant to me anyway, as the only way I'm getting one is if I end up winning one through their Upload Outreach Program.

... wut?

I could have sworn you were going to say heat which would have at least made a little sense, but then you went and said weight and completely confused me.

AJerman said,

... wut?

I could have sworn you were going to say heat which would have at least made a little sense, but then you went and said weight and completely confused me.


Well, the original PS3 is a chunky thing (it's almost 5kg compared to the 3.5kg of the original 360). I used to have that stand on top of my old (pre-slim) 360; I just thought it might have been a bit much for it.

MightyJordan said,

Well, the original PS3 is a chunky thing (it's almost 5kg compared to the 3.5kg of the original 360). I used to have that stand on top of my old (pre-slim) 360; I just thought it might have been a bit much for it.

You should make the PS3 and PS4 both stand on the 360, hahaha. Then the One on top!

Yep... I'm ok with this. The primary reason people need the vertical orientation is for space more than aesthetic reasons and for most its just a matter of reconfiguring their space.

I'm in the 20% category.. I know there will be an aftermarket stand for it eventually that will support the vertical positioning, so I'm not to worry about that

What 'not support' usually means is if they deem that you were using it vertically when it failed, then your warranty would be void.

vhaakmat said,
I'm in the 20% category.. I know there will be an aftermarket stand for it eventually that will support the vertical positioning, so I'm not to worry about that
Unless the stand comes with replacement Blu-Ray drive it's not going to help. It's not stability, it's whether the disk drive will support your disks properly or if they'll move out of control and destroy themselves and possibly the drive. That's the risk you're taking.

I concur with the assessment that a slot loading drive has a lot to do with this. I remember back when slot loading DVD drives were all the rage on PCs how notorious they were from scratching your disks. As others have said, so devices now have them, but I'm not sure I'd trust my £50 game disc to a "should be ok".

Same here, it's easy to just stick it out of sight behind the TV.

By the way I wonder how they collected the data for the 80% figure?

It doesn't mean your warranty is void. How would they even know? It would mean if you complain your disks are getting jammed, and you have it on the side, they won't fix it because there is no fix.

Geezy said,
By the way I wonder how they collected the data for the 80% figure?

I guess the Xbox 360 'knows' about its orientation and uses it to adjust the connected player display on the front of the console. Maybe the console can send this data (like they do on Windows when assessing the number of people who use this or that resolution for instance).

Not really bothered about this, always cautious when something on it's side like the 360, I'm afraid someone would knock it or something.

fact is that using it vertically allows you to hide it behind the TV (plenty of room between it and the wall if yours is not VESA mounted).
also, being 8cm tall (3.2'') against the 5.2cm (2'') of the PS4 also constrains under or between what you can put it. The PS4 might even fit below your TV set (meaning you can push half the console behind the TV, half in front) but you still have to figure out where to place the One and your damned power brick.

Not only does it support different means to 'hide' the console.
For PS2 and the PS3 fatboy, placing it vertical increases the life time of the console significantly.