PSA: Microsoft Designed the Xbox One Console to Lay Flat

Paul Lilly

Go vertical at your own risk

Here's a heads up for any of you who may have pre-ordered or otherwise plan on purchasing an Xbox One game console. Depending on how adventurous you're feeling, you may need to rearrange your AV cabinet if you've already made room for the console and assumed it would be okay place it vertically. Turns out it's not okay and you could actually damage the console if you don't lay it flat.

So says Albert Panello, senior director of product management and planning at Xbox, who spoke with GameSpot at the Tokyo Game Show this week.

"We don't support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk," Panello said . "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."

To us, that seems like a major oversight, especially since the Xbox One is the most expensive of all three next generation consoles (it also comes with a Kinect motion controller, so it's not an arbitrary price difference). And it's not like Microsoft is breaking new ground here. Both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 sport similar designs with slot-loading optical drives, but you're free to orient them vertically or horizontally.

Panello reasons that through Microsoft's own research, the company found that 80 percent of people situate their Xbox console horizontally anyway. Even if true, 20 percent is a big chunk to flip the finger at.

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