Perhaps you’ve noticed that the Xbox One has only been shown in a horizontal orientation in press photos. That’s in contrast to the Xbox 360 which is more often than not seen standing vertically alongside a controller or Kinect. Turns out, what you are seeing isn’t just an odd coincidence – Microsoft doesn’t condone vertical orientation on the next generation console.
During a recent interview with GameSpot, Microsoft’s senior director of product management and planning at Xbox, Albert Panello, said the Xbox One should not be positioned vertically due to the fact it has a slot-loading optical drive. Doing so would be at the user’s own risk.
He clarified that the orientation decision wasn’t related to cooling but instead, the optical drive. It just wasn’t designed for both orientations, Panello said.
It’s a bit of an unusual admission, especially when you consider both the PlayStation 3 and the upcoming PlayStation 4 feature slot-loading drives and both of those machines work correctly in either orientation. Even the 360 which features a tray drive can be stood up on its end without incident.
Interestingly enough, Panello said they found that 80 percent of people have their Xbox 360 positioned horizontally. If that’s the case, it may not be as big of a deal to some as it would first appear to be.
The Xbox One is set to launch in North America on November 22 priced at $499.