Microsoft’s messaging with Xbox 360 was customization. Faceplates became hot, user profiles were slickly changeable, and even the console itself could squeeze into any environment with vertical or horizontal positioning. While many would bemoan vertical positioning due to disc scratching risk, the idea became popular.
With Xbox One, not so much.
In an interview with GameSpot UK, senior director of product management and planning Albert Panello said this:
“We don’t support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk… 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.”
He notes 80% of 360 owners keep their consoles horizontal, whether for preference or fear the 360 Slim vents would then point downward and heat the surface which the unit rests on. It would be interesting to know if those numbers changed over time, or maybe fear of scratched discs weened people from the idea.
Note Microsoft has not released any official images of Xbox One standing vertical. They’re certainly being cautious. On another note, PlayStation 4 does support vertical standing positioning, and you can even purchase a stand. We highly anticipate ads bickering over the “console turning wars.”