Phil Spencer recently explained Xbox’s reasoning for the Xbox Series X shape, which has been known since 2019’s Game Awards. According to him, the reason for the departure from a normal Xbox’s shape is to both help with cooling and to reduce noise, a problem that consoles often suffer from.
The interview followed a trend that many talk shows and podcasts have been using lately where the entire group sets up in Animal Crossing, which allows multiple people to meet and talk to one another on another player’s island. Spencer spoke with Gary Whitta for the interview.
Gamers who have seen both the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 can likely clearly tell the difference between them, contrasting the Xbox Series X shape of a brutalist slab with the futuristic white design of the Playstation 5. But why the changes?
Both consoles used to be horizontal black slabs, but according to Phil Spencer, the reason for the changes in both consoles is to help promote cooling. Since both of the upcoming consoles are essentially PCs, cooling is more important than ever, along with the reduction of noise.
The Xbox Series X shape promotes a larger fan for the console to cool, but also making it move somewhat slower than previous generations of consoles. The fan moving slower generates less noise, which helps to keep the game’s immersion instead of having it shattered by the fan going into overdrive.
Spencer also went into a bit of detail on the Playstation 5’s shape, talking about how the reason for that console’s different shape is likely because of the different way that Playstation is going about cooling, as fans could see with the console’s unconventional design.
Considering the great power we’ve seen that is all packed into the Xbox Series X shape, despite its simplicity, hopefully Microsoft’s philosophy about the cooling fan will work well for the console and all of the games that is has coming out for it after release. You can see the full podcast episode here.