xBox and Mac Mini released today

Apple is amazing, again. ALthough I like both design, apples sfits into the trademark image, takes it to an even more minimalist level. As for the Xbox, its a product that you play all sorts of high tech games on and this is what is communicate by the product.

I just typed “American living room” into google. Would a Mac Mini disappear in here? I don’t think so. I would stand out just as much as an X Box, just for a different reason.

The briefs are completely different for completely different markets, so I think we should judge these from those perspectives. If the X Box could cost 20% more, it could be more like a Mac Mini, but it’s not. I believe, the MS designers designed something to stand out and bash people over the head. Sure it has weird odd ball details, but that’s what’s drawing our attention.

I’m not making a moral judgement here…I’m making a market-based judgement.

Designer of the new XBox: Scott Wilson of Minimal (

Source: FastCompany (Xbox 360 Slim Designer Scott Wilson Is Also Making Conference Tables M) unrelated article, but says casually he designed the new XBox.


ip: I can see what you’re saying, but the response to the new xbox from the market has been amazing (in a good way. Pre-orders sold out in a day, read comments on any gaming forum/blog, etc). I think the new box has a pretty sexy look and is meant to be displayed/noticed, not disappeared.

I don’t think the consumers don’t care what it looks like. They do care. The new design made thousands of people WANT one. And that’s important. I think another thing to take into consideration is that this is not a new product, but an update. If it were a brand new console they’re pushing, then I think it’d be different. However, they already have a large customer base, and I think this new design fits very well.

That being said, I still prefer the old one.

Funny, the juxtaposition of the Xbox and the Mac Mini reminds me of Brancusi:

The Mac Mini is awesome. What Yo said.

The new Xbox is a cool idea, but they didn’t really extrapolate the concept far enough. They kept some of the round edges and it doesn’t really go with the new faceted surfacing.

I find it interesting that as Microsoft releases their offering for more casual gamers, they introduce a more polarizing design. Typically, the edgy tacky stuff is for the hardcore Xbox/PC demographic (18-35). Astro’s original Xbox 360 was surprisingly friendly, feminine, and more universal. Definitely shows how amazing Apple is with their consistency.

P.S. I prefer the original Xbox japanese controller. I’ve never had a better controller in my hands ever. The handle surfaces on the new one feel more arbitrary.

Everybody remember the (old) New X-box discussion, was that really 2005? I feel old.

good stuff, even has some nice kernels from SW in there

Wow, thanks for that. A great read (I’m halfway through all 8 pages now). Funny how the tone in the old core forums were so much more venomous and heated.


PS. Maybe just itching to get sketching lately, but again, new XBOX concepts would be a great 1HDC, and likely perhaps get some good blog coverage from the tech blogs given the timely nature of the topic…

I was doodling new xbox’s earlier today after first reading this thread, but didn’t save them, oh the wonders of digital sketching. We should do that.

It is almost hard to read! The boards have evolved quite a bit as we have all matured and grown with experience, and the new faces that have come in have adopted the new tone for the most part. Some of the old stuff is super funny! But overall I prefer our evolved 2010 state! Though maybe we should do another xBox sketch thread for fun?

Here is my current set up, Mac Mini, next to an iPod, next to a Wii.

Reading the specs on the Apple site it turns out the Mac Mini is machined from a single unibody piece of aly - which is simultaneously wonderful and scary at the same time : scary in that for each one made, as far as I can tell, about 20 times the volume of material used in the finished product will need to be machined out from the inside first.
Presumably the waste gets reprocessed.

Not sure how Apple can square that with their environmentally considerate positioning.

On the flip side, (and crossing over into another thread) if you consider it’s 'future vintage chic’ness, this is much more likely to last long enough to be the classic shell for someone’s future computer much like old arcade cabinets are now lovingly restored with an emulator running on a PC inside.
If you take a more cynical view, this beautifully made object will be landfill within a decade.

I believe the melt down the shavings…

as to the landfill piece, how is that different than the last 2 decades of home computers? At least they are getting smaller and more keepable. I gave my old lap top to my wife, she gave her old one to my mom… and so on. Anything we can’t give away we donate to non-profits. Doesn’t have to go to the landfill if it can be an email machine at a shelter…

Quite right, we do the same… I’m also an enthusiastic receiver of old computer hardware for the same reason - why ditch it when it can be pressed into service doing things like distributed rendering.
Even taking the best lifespan prediction into account, computers and most consumer electronics end up being quietly forgotten about and then thrown out after a while.
I guess what I’m hoping for is that companies like Apple will start to build retrofitting into their business model… because machining out, then reprocessing, casting, and remachining sounds like a big waste of energy even compared with the last 2 decades of beige painted boxes.

I’d like to think we can get there. I could see apple doing it. You buy a machined apple box and after a couple of years bring it the genius bar for a complete internal upgrade. The mini I the perfect product to do that on. The wear and tear on a laptop and moving parts would make it less likely to get this kind of service, bit the mini is just a box, no speakers, no monitor. Maybe the next one? Jonathan? Maybe?

For tha matter, same thing with the xbox.

It could almost be like a hightech return to the old oncept of stereo “cabinets”

The alu cases used by Apple are energy wasteful. It would take far less energy to just injection mold something, but less spectacular. Think about it: refine alu to a block. machine. recycle alu waste (80% of the volume of each case, as noted). Start again. It takes massive amounts of electricity to refine alu or to recycle it.

And it’s not like they’re doing all of that refining, machining, and recycling in the same spot. It likely gets trucked half way around the country (of China) to get processed.

A wild thought that I would love to see…Apple designs the Xbox and Microsoft sells it…

Music has Supergroups, what about the idea of corporate Supergroups?

I vaguely remember reading an article about the Apple process, it isn’t machined out of a full block. As I recall, the aluminum is hollowed out in the casting process, so it isn’t as wasteful as buying a block of Aluminum billet (sp?).

I think they would have to design and “develop” it. The secret sauce is not in the design itself (never really is I guess) but in the obsessive prototyping process. The design vision has to be strong enough to avoid tangents on the journey, but the people reviewing and redlining prototypes need to obsessively follow that vision.

Yeah, I would imagine they do a near net casting, then finish machine it to the final shape. Makes a lot more sense at those volumes than starting with billet.

I don’t know how a proper lifecycle analysis compares, but I would imagine the aluminum fares better than injection molded polycarbonate, which is petroleum-based and for all practical purposes non-recyclable. Maybe the Gulf disaster will make us all rethink the suitability of plastics in more applications.

Scott & IP: Yeah…now that I think of it, you guys are right. They are casting the rough shape before machining. Still, a lot of energy being burned. I think it all depends on where that energy is coming from. Life cycle analysis is something I haven’t even read about, less alone applied.