The Original Xbox
The Xbox was considered too bulky by Asian markets, and thus did not perform as well there, especially against the much slimmer Playstation 2. When Microsoft went to make the Xbox 360, they looked at trying to fix the size issue as well as some other cosmetic issues.
My friends all say “the Xbox looks like a tank when put next to the Playstation 2, and the Gamecube”.
Now eventhough the overall size of the Xbox 360 is slightly larger than the original Xbox, the design plays a big role in making it feel smaller. Also, being a pound lighter than the original Xbox probably helps with the perception of size. When many people were polled on who they thought created the new console, they all assumed Apple, and Microsoft was tickled pink with that answer.
Microsoft wanted to add to what they created and they saw lots of room to improve the overall experience of their system. With so many people making modifications, Microsoft actually noticed that the more expandable they made their next system, the better off they would be.
As excitement over the release of the new design built up, there were a few designs “leaked” onto the Internet, and later found to be nothing more than fan created designs.
I don’t really know why many people came up with such fabrications, but most of them lacked the design appeal that any console maker would be going for when designing a next generation console.
Some of the designs, were so far out of the realm of possibility that it only took moments after being uploaded for people to call them out as fakes, but the buzz of the Xbox 360 continued and thus, so did the fakes, as everyone wanted to be first to show the “true Xbox 2”
MTV Featured Design Revisions
When MTV had the Xbox release special they had a quick segment going over the many design ideas for their new console, some of them looked much like the final design, and some were a big departure from the final concept.
Most of the designs do not show any sign of heading towards wireless controllers, and many of the designs look more like the original Xbox in their blocky, indestructable look. Also, for the most part the designs had a dark look to them, with only later variations being shown with a lighter grey and white exterior.
Once the inclusion of wireless controllers were in place, it seemed like Microsoft was looking for a theme, something to connect all of the devices and even the playing experience together. Something they could market easily. What they came up with was the 360 concept and the ring of light. In earlier designs you can tell this idea had not even surfaced yet.
I can understand how coming up with a console design is difficult, as no matter what you do, you will get mixed reactions. I have heard people say negative things about the Xbox 360 design, the Playstation 2 design, and the proposed Revolution design. I think they all look pretty good compared to the old Nintendo Entertainment System that I have kicking around.