Microsoft launched its stellar Xbox One on November 22, 2013 in 13 countries (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and USA). By the end of the year it had shipped 3.9 million units to retailers, selling “over 3 million” of those, against the 4.2 million PS4 units sold by Sony through December 28 (here’s a practical comparison).
However, a lot of hard work had to be done during the previous years in order to reach that milestone, involving a lot of designs and iterations. More than 75, actually.
Carl Ledbetter, senior industrial design manager at Microsoft and the guy behind the Xbox One design (and the original Intellimouse!), admits it wasn’t an easy task.
There was this conundrum in that we had to meet and satisfy desires of core gamers and Xbox fans, and at same time we wanted Xbox to reach out and mean something to new people. From a design perspective, how do we make that happen? That was a big challenge.
He and his team had to create a sophisticated yet approachable gaming powerhouse, that could become the entertainment manager without overshadowing the rest of the living room. By the end of the process, they had more than 75 iterations of the console, 100 of Kinect, and more than 200 of the controller.
We put a lot of time into all of the details. The overall product is really premium. It really feels designed, engineered and crafted in quality.
You can read the full interview here.