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These are some of the ideas behind the Xbox One S's new design

Andrew Kim, a member of Microsoft's design team, has posted up some of the themes that the group had in mind when it designed the look of the recently launched Xbox One S console.

If the name Andrew Kim seems familiar, it's because that while he was a student at the Art Centre College of Design in 2012, he created some impressive concepts for the Windows Phone OS. He also redesigned the logo for Microsoft and many of its brands, along with a Surface Phone concept. He posted those designs to wide Internet acclaim. Microsoft was not dumb; it quickly hired Kim to be part of its design team, and the Xbox One S was his first project.

On his official web site (via The Verge), Kim posted his look behind the scenes of the Xbox One S's design:

After the launch of Xbox One, the design team began investigating a new approach to game console design. For Xbox One S, we wanted to create a more friendly and universal product that doesn't evoke traditional "gaming" cues. We also wanted to simplify the hardware to align with the new Windows 10 design language that was being developed in unison. This simplification started with implementing a unibody construction that reduces the external shell count to just three parts. We also dramatically reduced the size of the device and removed the bulky external power supply. The final design is architectural, logical and easily accessible thanks to its surprisingly low price point.

Xbox One S

Xbox One S

Kim is still working at Microsoft, but on the HoloLens team. Meanwhile, the 2TB version of the Xbox One is now on sale for $399 (opens in new tab), with the 500GB and 1TB versions due out next week.

Check out our Xbox One S review

See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

44 Comments
  • u know what boggles my mind is that why on earth didnt they put the external supply inside in the beginnign? There's no way the tech wasnt out then. 
  • Little bit of an ignorant comment. It all has to do with thermodynamics and not wanting to have another RROD issue. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Exactly cos MS spent $1 Billion to fix the RROD Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • aha BUT SONY did it and they didnt have any problems... now what??? + dont forget about the UGLY design of the "ONE" big, heavy, bulky :))) MicroFanboysm
  • Actually the PS4 gets really loud because of how hot it gets inside. It might not overheat to the point that the system dies but sounding like a plane engine isn't a good thing either. Also, what is it with people throwing the word "fanboy" around all the time? Since when does acknowledging the scientific principles behind how huge the original One was count as fanboyism?
  • If the PS4 gets loud it will be due to poor air ventilation around it, don't put it in a compact/enclosed area and it will be fine, also could point to it needing a clean of any dust build up.
  • No, but my PS4 gets loud.....much louder than my XB1.
  • The PS4 sounds like a jet engine taking off at full load. My bro's PS4 is on a glass tv stand shelf so very open. It's sometimes impossible to hear game vocals at low volume.
  • Well it looks like they took a page out of Sony book and did something great. I'm all for it. I mean it worked for the ps3 and ps4 and not only that like Sony M$ went for a slimmer design.
  • Have I traveled back in time to 1999? Who seriously still is using M$? ??
  • Must be App$e, Goog$e or $ony fans... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android.. But waiting for the HP Elite so I can get rid of this junkie Galaxy S5...
  • I love how people forget how big the original PS3 was. Plus Ms did a great revamp with the 360s. At the end of the day its a shell for components and if you don't buy a console because of how it looks then your not really a gamer.i own all 3 because all 3 have games I want to play it really is that simple in the gaming world.
  • Yes MS didn't get the balls to do it then but now they do in 2016...Also many convinced they didn't need to take the whole XBOX unit to repair shops if power module broke. Anyhow this guy well deserves to be part of hardware design team for sure though I wonder if he is part of surface phone design team. I personally like Xbox 1s design and NO complaints. 
  • The downside with an external power brick is the horrible coil whine.
  • Good to see Microsoft hired Kim based on his beautiful designs. Too bad they wouldn't hire more enthusiasts to the team at senior levels.
  • How to design the Xbox One S: - Pick up a PlayStation 2. - Replace lines with circular holes. - Make it more box-y. - Paint it in boring white. - Profit. Ta-da!
  • Wow.. Ya I can see it Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It is a box... That's the only thing it has in common with the PS2...
  • The One looks like the PS2 only if your sole metric is that they are both long narrow boxes that play games. That's pretty much where the similarities end. The tray is completely different, the holes are for ventilation versus the lines on the PS2 which weren't, there are no memory slots, the bottom base extends across the entire body of the system and is not as thick as the PS2. There are a few more differences but in short, no, it's really nothing like the PS2 outside of being a box.
  • Yeah you're right, the XB1 had an external psu, the PS2 didn't lol
  • We are taking about the One S, not the original Xbox One and neither incarnation looks like the PS2. If you are going to jump in on a thread, at least try to keep up.
  • Ok, how fast are you going so I can match you lol
  • Not a fan of it myself. Hate the holes (looks like th widely mocked iPhone "Connect Four" cases) and prefer almost any color to white on my electronics.
  • The holes are probably the best looking way to allow for ventilation. Agree somewhat on the color: I'd prefer a matte black, but I can see why some users would prefer white. 
  • Yup air flow unless they start shipping closed loop water cooled SOCs. I doubt they will anytime soon.
  • Yea, the holes suck... Think about 6 months down the line when dust gets on the console, cleaning out hole by hole could take forerver...  Using a can of compressed air would help but, your also blowing dust into the console that could shorten it's life.
  • He loves whites. And he is a minimalist. Thus the 'artsy' design. It's beautiful. But a different kind of beautiful you would expect from a 'game' console.
  • No explanation on the white color. Oh well I'm just waiting for a black Bluetooth controller from Microsoft.
  • Why didn't Microsoft use one of his windows 10 mobile concepts? I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen who have no concept of flavour :P.
  • Why did the article suggest there would be images of previous designs and I see no such images
  • Ya, it kinda feels like click bait...
  • I felt the same way.... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Hey man, thats because Kim is an artist! People living in that world always say things in 1000 words, while the rest can say the same in just 100 words... This is the reason why the article is this long, while there's nothing to read... ;-)
  • ??? There are images of his previous work if you follow the links in the article. I spent my lunch break checking out the site it linked to. Why is everyone hating on this article? Did they change the headline or something?
  • Ok. What was told in the headline was not offered in the article. I'm trying not to start going at the writers from this site because I like this site but you are making it extremely difficult for me not to address the lack of journalism.
  • Im not sure I understand this complaint. The quote clearly explains some of the ideas behind the Xbox One S design. What's wrong with the headline?
  • The new Microsoft logo is nothing to be proud of. The XBox One S however is, and illustrates what a fugly lump of plastic the original One is.
  • Look at the ifixit tear down. That fan is humongous.
  • Why is it only available in white? I believe this is a very stupid decision. How hard is it to have a black option, so we're not forced with only the white option?
  • I honestly can't see what all the hype is about. The S looks almost identical to the original One, only smaller and in white. And I can't even tell it's smaller by looking only at the pictures of S.
    Seriously, can someone enlighten me what are those major design changes I keep hearing about?
    The external/internal power supply is irrelevant. I keep it hidden anyways, and you never see it in promo pictures.
  • Look, it's one of those things that people will debate about because it's dealing with aesthetics and design choices. Some will see a lot of change (myself) others will be like (grunting): "box, white, play game, don't care." The differences are in the choices for tiny holes instead of grills/fins on the size, non-glossy, no chrome bit, no dumb capacitive button, subtle two-tone (white top, black bottom), more symmetry in some areas with distinctions in others resulting in an overall more modern look. It makes the old Xbox One look kind of corny. Does it matter, will you see the changes? I dunno. I just know that people that do have them think they look great in the living room now myself included.
  • I'll admit it's sleeker looking as it's smaller but, as for design, meh, it looks like the same system. I know that is what they were going for, they wanted to look like a "Xbox one" but, the holes look kind of cool in a design aspect but, in reality they are dust collectors and in a few months of owning a system, they will fill up with dust and wont be easy to clean... Using compressed air will push dust into the system and possably shorted the life of it. As a general color, white, it stands out over 95% of components, I would bet most people would want black to match everything else.  I think there should be an option black and white on release. I like white consoles, dont get me wrong but, a general thought in everything, it would be questionable. Nice looking system over all but, innovative design, not really... and it seems I am not the only one who thinks this way.
  • Why is the.capacitive button "dumb"? I've never accidentally pressed it and I generally turn it on and off with my controller anyway. I think the capacitive button looks pretty cool. The only issue I can think of would be someone not knowing how to power it on at first glance.