Xbox creative director Carl Ledbetter discussed the prototyping process for the Xbox One’s design while talking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 today.
“We wanted to make it simple and elegant, and we wanted it to be crafted and tailored, so it’s all about quality,” Ledbetter said. “Using those principles, we started to design.”
According to Ledbetter, a team of roughly 30 designers and artists came up with a slew of sketches, then turned those over to Microsoft’s in-house model shop to construct physical prototypes (the mock-ups seen above). These mock-ups would then be placed in actual living rooms, where their design value would be scrutinized over. After that, they’d be sent to an engineering team responsible for figuring out how to get the necessary internal components to fit into the design.
The Xbox One controller underwent a similarly laborious prototyping process.
“We found that, when people put these in their hands, could tell the difference between a 10th of a millimeter in size,” Ledbetter said.