back to article Xbox Series X: Gee thanks, Microsoft! Just what we wanted for Xmas 2020 – a Gateway tower PC

It's always interesting to see where industrial designers source their inspiration. Tesla, in creating the futuristic CyberTruck, looked to the dystopian world of Blade Runner. Iconic '80s movie Back To The Future directly inspired Nike’s self-lacing MAG kicks. And in creating the upcoming Xbox Series X console, Microsoft's muse …

  1. baud Bronze badge

    Regarding the orientation, if I remember right, the PS3 and xbox360 were also shown vertically in the marketing, no? Also, from I remember of the Wii, it also sat vertically.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Vertical

      Also was option for the PS2 but not the PS1 or Sega Saturn.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Chris 125

        There was another option for PS1

        Once the laser track was worn, upside down was the way to go.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Also, from I remember of the Wii, it also sat vertically.

      That's how I remember it too

      1. Andytug

        The Wii came with a stand for it to go vertical

        Ours still is :) Worth keeping for Mario Kart alone.....and tenpin bowling!

        1. MiguelC Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: The Wii came with a stand for it to go vertical

          I don't remember the last time Mario Kart CD came out of the slot of ours :)

        2. Blackjack Silver badge

          Re: The Wii came with a stand for it to go vertical

          You like Double Dash? I guess you never played Mario Kart DS then?

          I still use my Wii sometimes.

          Guess what? Gamecube Sonic Heroes might be repetitive but it is definitely better than a lot of later Sonic Games.

          And of course there is Brain Academy even if it's a murder on the controller batteries.

    3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Our Wii still does - a convenient stand. Been there for some years (and still going strong).

    4. Paul Shirley

      I ran a pair of Xbox Ones vertically on my desk, stuck between the monitors and wall, for 4 years. Picked up plenty of dust but never complained about overheating. Rarely used the Bluray drives but they're slot loading and worked perfectly.

      The One X sat horizontal, buried under a pile of crap simply because I ran out of safe places to sit it vertically!

    5. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      The ps2 was the first

      Even the PlayStation logo rotated depending on which orientation you desired.

      I still think its the last of the true consoles (no Internet required just stick a game on and go)

      1. MonkeyCee

        Re: The ps2 was the first

        "I still think its the last of the true consoles (no Internet required just stick a game on and go)"

        Nintendo Switch? I've got all my games on carts, no net connection needed.

    6. defiler

      I have a Wii, PS2, Xbox 360 and Switch sitting vertically. The rest are horizontal.

      Planning on how to coax my wife into letting me remove the drawers from that cabinet and for more in.

  2. Victor Ludorum

    Ah yes but

    If you're like my 13 year old, you leave the game disc case on top of the console (XBox One S) thereby reducing the ability of the cooling system to actually do its job. Not sure how this design mitigates that.

    1. baud Bronze badge

      Re: Ah yes but

      No more discs? Everything will be downloaded from the network. With the added bonus (for Microsoft) of killing the second-hand game market.

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: Ah yes but

        "No more discs? Everything will be downloaded from the network. With the added bonus (for Microsoft) of killing the second-hand game market."

        Well, its clearly got a slot so probably not in this iteration of the hardware.

        1. Tom Chiverton 1

          Re: Ah yes but

          These days the box is just a dongle. Won't work with downloading a bunch of stuff from Internet

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Everything will be downloaded from the network.

          Cool. Just did that.

          You might expect that you buy an Xbox with bundled games and you can just turn the thing on and play...

          No chance.

          First, download 3.8G of system update at ~ 4Mbs. Care to calculate how long that takes?

          Then configure a load of pointless profile crap, enter the download code and.... yay! Download 70+Gb at ... at ... wait for it ... and you will ... hang on... hmmm... well, let's see, ... about 4Mbs.

          Not even anything to play, however pointless, until this is all done. No demo game. No pre-loaded free trial of something vaguely entertaining that showcases the hardware. Just a 36+ hour wait with nothing but a veeeeeeeeery slow progress bar. And *now* imagine that you are about 12, and it's your birthday.

          Where's the initial hit of excitement as you plug the thing in and get wowed by the graphics & sound?

          A complete and inexcusably piss-poor unboxing experience. You should be hooked straight off and have a good chance of ending up with a lifelong (even if possibly not entirely justified) bias towards Xbox as a gaming platform.

          Product design? Total f**king incompetence, IMO.

          1. baud Bronze badge

            Re: Everything will be downloaded from the network.

            I'm pretty sure it's the same thing with Sony's consoles too.

          2. Kane Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Everything will be downloaded from the network.

            "And *now* imagine that you are about 12, and it's your birthday."

            In fairness, a good parent would set up the console beforehand and do all that crap themselves, so that when little Johnny opens the box and his eyes light up, it's ready to go.

            1. Phil S

              Re: Everything will be downloaded from the network.

              did that last year with an Xbox I got in the cyber Monday sales - glad I did as I had to hide the thing in loft room (kids are nosy) to install the updates over weak-ass wifi (Victorian walls/ceilings) and it took 4 days!

              Then I put the games in and had to do the same to install them.

              Took about a week in all, but was worth it so they could play the thing!

              My Amiga 500 was much easier...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: a good parent

              A "good" parent might not know anything about xboxes, and assume they arrive sensibly configured. You know, like a laptop, or a tv box, or some other computer-like device.

              And just because a parent might happen know they have to compensate for Microsoft's incompetence, doesn't mean they should have to; and Microsoft should know better - do they want the initial experience to be a positive one, or a tedious, long-winded, and frustrating one?

          3. Tom Servo

            Re: Everything will be downloaded from the network.

            Me: Well, the kids and wife are out, I've got a spare hour to myself to have a blast on CoD.

            Xbox: Downloading a 13GB update for this game

            Me: Fuck off xbox.

            This happens far too often.

            1. Diamandi Lucas

              Re: Everything will be downloaded from the network.

              This is one thing that annoys me about how the Xbox One handles game updates. Other consoles allow you to defer updating and will let you play the single player campaign.

              If you want to defer the update on the Xbox One you have to go into the network settings of the console and take it offline.

      2. the hatter

        Re: Ah yes but

        Already an option, I noted as a non-Xbox-er who was looking at some detail the other day "Xbox One S All-Digital Edition" billed at $50 (and I assume £50) less than the normal One S, for those with poor budgeting skills. Might even make sense for MS to do an All Digital edition of the new one at launch, give a short-sighted cheapskate option for those who can't quite justify the price tag of the full-fat version at launch.

      3. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

        Re: No more discs?

        MS tried that with the early designs for XBox One. They also tried "always on" both for box and internet connectivity as the only option. They backed off both ideas after much outcry from the user community. You CAN run discless and/or "always on" if desired, but you don't HAVE to.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Ah yes but

      I'd also be worried about where the intake is, because this is where the dust gets in. Presumably, because it will have to conform with US unlimited liability idiot rules, the air cavity is big enough and the case conductive enough for this not to be too much of a problem.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So, it's a PC, right ?

    It's a tower, and if you open it up I'd wager you'll find a microATX motherboard, a regular AMD video card and the usual components connected to said motherboard.

    The one thing that may change is the way the OS is configured, locking you down to the Microsoft Store and only giving you the gaming options.

    I wonder if you could install Linux on it. I also wonder why you would want to.

    1. Antonius_Prime

      Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

      "I wonder if you could install Linux on it. I also wonder why you would want to."

      I believe George Mallory said it best: "Because it's there..."

    2. chuBb. Bronze badge

      Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

      Doubtful they learnt the lesson well with the original Xbox, used to run xbox linux on one of mine (had 3, one for gaming/going to block buster and hiring 5 games for a £5 for the weekend and ripping to the upgraded HDD, one as a media center xbmp => xbmc aka kodi these days, and one as a simple web and mail server).

      Instead i predict inside you will find a single big PCBpossibly a wifi daughter board as its cheaper to just plonk a standard laptop wifi board in, a bunch of heatpipes and hopefully and inch or 2 void at the bottom for a dust catcher and means to not choke the thing if put vertically on carpet, as the fan would be sucking bottom to top. And yet another huge PSU brick as that makes manufacture easier, you only have to design the psu for each major markets power network/standards

      Will be interesting if MS also do a PS5 and have an SSD cartridge, as i reckon that digital only will be a non starter for anyone on a sub 30Mb connection 80+GB downloads for games and 40GB day one patches, would not be at all surprised to find self serve vending machines in super markets and games shops to copy to the SSD

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

      You'll actually just find the GPU mounted on the custom mboard or integrated on the CPU die depending on whether they can cool an integrated version. Never bothered cracking the case of any of mine. While it's barely different from a PC, the underlying hardware graphics access is very different, but hidden by DirectX.

      Probably just a matter of time till MS release Win10 for it, they added keyboard support last year and it can run UWP apps. But locked down as possible, of course it will be.

      1. nevarre

        Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

        Xbox OS is essentially a VM that runs on top of Windows Core as the host OS. Look up Xbox One on Wikipedia, or search the web for Xbox One architecture. It's more likely that they will release a software only version of Xbox OS to run on Windows, but it's more likely that more games will drift towards versions that function on both Windows and Xbox and dump their save files out in Azure somewhere.

      2. TheVogon

        Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

        Not sure what you mean by "release Windows 10 for it". The Xbox One X already runs on the Windows 10 kernel.

    4. lybad

      Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

      On a semi similar note, given that it's fundamentally a PC running Windows 10 - if MS allowed people to use Steam to run their PC games on it, sales would potentially increase significantly.

      1. TheVogon

        Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

        Steam developers that want their games to run on the Xbox need only to submit them via the Xbox store.

    5. Fading Silver badge

      Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

      Agreed - looks like a Corsair one to me.

    6. TheVogon

      Re: So, it's a PC, right ?

      No You won't find any of that. Microsoft integrate GPU and CPU on the silicon so you will have a much faster bus speed than PCI for instance. This is why for instance the Xbox One X can significantly outperform a comparatively speced PC.

  4. Luke McCarthy

    I used to have a PC case like that

    Silverstone FT03-Mini

    1. Ima Ballsy
      Holmes

      Re: I used to have a PC case like that

      Yeah, Looks like an OLD TIME ICE box from the 1920's,30's ....

  5. MJI Silver badge

    What is interesting.

    Is that Microsoft NOW realise that the whole console market depends on a number of strong players.

    Also that strong software is essential.

    Sony makes MS better.

    MS makes Sony better.

    And together with Nintendo against Stadia.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: What is interesting.

      > lack of platform-exclusive content

      F*ck it, as long as it's got something with the word "HALO" in it... I'm happy!

      (Icon for anywhere Master Chief goes...)

  6. Richard Boyce

    Noise

    So, how much noise from the cooling system, when it's under full load? Any numbers anywhere?

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Noise

      "So, how much noise from the cooling system, when it's under full load? Any numbers anywhere?"

      Did you read the article?

      The device is in development phase and ready for the markets in Christmas 2020. They may still change the externals or some of the innards, including cooling.

      From the article: "Spencer says is no louder than the Xbox One X."

  7. Tim Jenkins

    Groovy, man

    That voiceover sounds like the kind of Terence McKenna ramblings that used to burble away on mid 90's psytrance....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Groovy, man

      It's Alan Watts. And probably written/thought under heavy influence.

      1. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

        Re: Groovy, man

        Watts liked a drink but his lectures were sober and he only tried LSD once under lab settings.

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    It looks like a PC...

    Because it is essentially a PC. Just optimised with a custom OS. I'd wager in a few years that the next generation XB will be running a variant of Windows 11 or whatever, and the difference between console and actual PC will be minor.

    1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge
      Terminator

      Re: It looks like a PC...

      If it computes stuff and it's personal, then it's a PC. Much like my phone. Much like my brain implant.

    2. TheVogon

      Re: It looks like a PC...

      No, not just a PC. Different and much faster bus architecture for instance.

  9. cornetman Silver badge
    Coat

    When you said "Gateway Tower PC" I was expecting a console with a cow-skin pattern.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would love this.

      1. SuperGeek Bronze badge

        Start a MOO-vement and develop cow skins for it just in time for release, it'd be bovine intervention :)

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Coat

          My last Xbox was so unstable, it must have been made by Gateway - it kept fresian up.

  10. Colin Bull 1
    Angel

    Novel

    "Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Head of Xbox, described the Series X as "our fastest, most powerful Xbox".

    Well I never saw that coming. Would be an anticlimax if it was not as fast as previous models.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Novel, Location x 3

      "Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Head of Xbox, described the Series X as "our fastest, most powerful Xbox".

      He is busy these days.

      But need to ask.

      Where is Kirsty?

  11. Dr. Vagmeister

    RE: ......suggesting Microsoft had learned from its mistakes with the Xbox One.

    Maybe they have introduced some new ones.

    I have a hifi rack, and a wide TV stand where every piece of equipment is wide and not tall. Where on earth is this new tower design going to sit ?

    Maybe the unit can lie on its side, but the article seems to indicate it cannot for ventilation purposes.

    1. mrmond

      Re: RE: ......suggesting Microsoft had learned from its mistakes with the Xbox One.

      "The good news is that, if you want, you can use the device in a standard landscape orientation. That said, it's clear how Microsoft wants punters to use the console."

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: RE: ......suggesting Microsoft had learned from its mistakes with the Xbox One.

        I still wouldn't want a brick that sort of shape under my TV, long flat boxes are well established for fitting into TV stands, big cubes less so.

        Flat screen TV's only a couple of mm deep nailed to the wall is a good thing too, so other things fit flatly and nicely out of view.

        Nowhere in anyone' s designs does a large brick feature into the view of "that will integrate nicely"

      2. Dr. Vagmeister

        Re: RE: ......suggesting Microsoft had learned from its mistakes with the Xbox One.

        Thanks - i should have finished reading the article before getting pee'd orf.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: RE: ......suggesting Microsoft had learned from its mistakes with the Xbox One.

      Oh the horror! How are people meant to live under these conditions!!!

  12. Candy
    Flame

    Do we need to book early?

    Want to make sure I get a good seat for ther inevitable CoolingGate lawsuits...

  13. TheSkunkyMonk

    2 consoles and 5 drives in a year or two with the 360, Ill never waste money on a xbox again. Only reason I bothered with the 360 anyway was for Forza and they went and trashed that game as well. Laughed so hard when they added a minute cooldown to start races, what idiot though that was a good idea? Then all the DLC, nope just nope, if Im paying top dolar for a game I expect to get the entire game.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one

    Am still enjoying my Gen 1 XBOX.

    Who needs these new fangled demons anyway?

  15. Phil Kingston

    MS codenames always sound way better than what their marketing people force upon us.

  16. 0laf Silver badge
    Terminator

    Kitchen cooker extractor hood that plays games.

  17. phuzz Silver badge
    Gimp

    It's clearly a 2013 "trashcan" Mac Pro, but without rounded corners.

    (Or to look at it another way, the 'chimney' design is an efficient way of cooling a computer).

  18. MrBoring

    Does it also work as a subwoofer?

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