Journal Entry #3

The Xbox 360 is Microsoft’s successor to the original Xbox, which was their first foray into the home video game console market.  From a design standpoint, the Xbox 360 certainly a lot prettier than its predecessor.  Everything seems to be improved: the controller design as well as the smooth curves of the console.  The Xbox 360 is a nice machine to look at.

Maeda’s first law of simplicity states that “the simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.” Simplification in design and appearance appeared to be what the Xbox 360 design team was going for.

From this…

to this…

Starting with the controller, the Xbox team managed to remove much of the bulk of the original design without sacrificing functionality.  The console itself, while obviously becoming more powerful, has also changed into a slimmer and more ergonomic design.  The Xbox 360 is designed to either sit horizontally or stand vertically.  The machine knows which way it’s oriented, and changes the display lights corresponding with each controller based on a vertical or horizontal position.

All of this combined with customizable features like a faceplate and the console’s internal menu screens made for a successful launch of a next-generation console.

Nintendo has long been a champion of fun gameplay over powerful processing speed and fancy graphics.  With their Wii console, simplicity comes in the form of something completely different.  The Wii console is much smaller compated to both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.  That’s because the Wii is built for one thing only: games.  Nintendo followed Maeda’s first law to a tee.  Instead of adding a million functions and trying to make the Wii some sort of home media center, Nintendo stuck to what they do best, and that is make fun games.  Now the Wii may not be the living room media center that Microsoft and Sony hope to be, but it certainly has its place.


~ by cvellis on October 23, 2008.

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