Several months back I designed a Xbox 360 Slim console prior to the unveiling of the new model at E3. For whatever reason, my design has gained a lot of interest, with lots of people coming here to check it out.
First off, I included a dial input that encircles the right analog stick. Of all the things I would like in a controller, this is it. This would be handy in many situations: toggling weapons, adjusting sniper scope zoom, fine-tuning game settings like volume, scrolling in a web browser, in-game puzzles (like opening a safe), and so much more.
Next up is an LCD screen where the ‘home’ button would be located. Thanks to the Sega Dreamcast, this is not a new idea, but I foresee something like this returning for next-gen consoles. This would display the User’s gamertag, achievements, controller number, and lots of other useful information. You could probably use this as an extension of games too – I really liked play-calling for NFL2K on the Dreamcast.
All those green LED bands are not just for show. They are designed to highlight controls for many scenarios. Say you are in a tutorial – usually the game would highlight the button with a flashing onscreen graphic, but here the controller could light up a button for you to press. Maybe you are low on ammo, a button highlight could start flashing to alert you. An unlocked ability could also be highlighted in this fashion. The game could also playback your inputs during replays. Or they could just simply indicate your presses during play.
Lastly, like the console I included an LED ‘LIVE’ logo, to indicate you are online. It may seem cheesy, but I like having something that amplifies the importance of the situation, similar to an ‘ON AIR’ light at a TV studio. It broadcasts that you are connected to a gaming network, and through your very fingertips no less.
What I didn’t show – the start/select buttons, and the shoulder/trigger inputs. Those would be included!
Argh that console looks so simple now. Gotta update that one day!
Video Games, like the film industry, is very reciprocal. The same properties come and go. Here is a look at some properties that, despite their popularity, aren’t getting video game love these days.
In no particular order:
Star Fox. Thanks to Nintendo’s recent efforts, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and even Kid Icarus can be crossed off this list. But poor Star Fox, still sitting in the Arwing cockpit in the hangar, waiting for take-off clearance. This flying omnivore hasn’t been seen since 2006′s Star Fox Command for the DS, and 2005′s Assault was his last outing on a console (Gamecube). A re-issue of Star Fox 64 is planned for the 3DS.
Panzer Dragoon. One of the most celebrated video game franchises of the 90′s and early 2000′s has been M.I.A. since 2002. Sega has some weird priorities, opting to shower the market with Monkey Balls (har har), and trying again and again to revitalize their mascot Sonic. I’ll give props to Sega for resurrecting NiGHTS a few years ago (a franchise close to making this list), but Dragoon needs to take flight again.
Perfect Dark/Timesplitters. These shooters were made by Rare or many former Rare devs at Free Radical respectively. Both shooter franchises have been away for over 5 years, which is a shame, as both have earned a lot of credibility with shooter fans.
Chrono Trigger. I’m not an RPG fan myself, but even I am shocked this series hasn’t seen a new iteration since 1999! Meanwhile Final Fantasy has churned one out every 2-4 years (5 total in that 11-year span).
Jet Set Radio. This one is sort of cruel because it seems the current generation of systems finally caught up to the gameplay Jet Set offers. With motion controls and touch screen inputs, the combination of rollerblading and graffiti would seem more intuitive. Another Sega franchise that is benched.
Gauntlet. A name that still holds a lot of weight, even for nostalgic purposes. Despite a few recent outings in 2001 and 2005, the series hasn’t been able to return to the popularity enjoyed during the coin-op Arcade years.
Dino Crisis. This companion franchise to Resident Evil hasn’t been heard from since 2003. I don’t think there are enough games where you can unload a clip of bullets into a Velociraptor. Zombies are hogging all the attention these days.
Army Men. Kidding. Seeing if you were paying attention. That is one series that somehow cranked out a plethora of games no one wanted.
Doom and Quake. I’ll lump these both together as they are literally joined at the hip. Amazingly, it’s been 5 years since Quake IV and 6 years since Doom 3, which is an eternity for a video game franchise. id Software is apparently hard at work on followups to both.
Wing Commander. I have never played this franchise (regrettably, I sat through the movie). This name is unmistakeably huge. You could create any type of space dog-fighting game, slap this name on it, and it would sell.
Road Rash. This is a series that is long overdue for a return. Clearly it has staying power. This franchise has been AWOL for 11 years, last appearing on the N64 in 1999.
Streets of Rage/Final Fight/Double Dragon/TMNT/Battletoads. These brawlers have only seen reissues and ports over the past decade. I suppose the recent HD treatment of Turtles in Time was the ultimate market litmus test for these games. We’ll be waiting a while if the sales from that game are any indication.
Crazy Taxi. It was everywhere in the early 2000′s, and it hasn’t been heard from since 2002 (later versions being ports). It’s a name and franchise that still carries some currency, though I don’t know for how much longer.
Star Wars Battlefront. There is no shortage of Star Wars games, I admit. But this Battlefield/SOCOM-ish franchise hasn’t hit the consoles since 2005, though it has visited the handhelds as recently as last year (Elite Squadron). This is a series that needs to be appreciated on the big screen, as well as Xbox Live or PSN multiplayer.
Killer Instinct. This highly-regarded fighting game hasn’t seen a release since Killer Instinct Gold in 1995 for SNES and 1996 for N64. If people still are asking for a sequel some 16 years after it hit the Arcade, you can tell this was a solid fighter.
Mega Man X. The original Mega Man continues to enjoy all-new 8-bit games, while the 16-bit era X hasn’t seen a new game since 2004.
SSX. A great sports game. I wouldn’t be surprised if EA was readying a followup for Kinect. This franchise was last seen in 2007. (Update: EA has announced a new SSX game)
Half Life 2 Episode 3. Currently neglected by Valve. *Ahem*. If you look at Half Life 2 being 6 years old, then one could surmise we are also long overdue for a Half Life 3.
Yoshi. Yup, the little dinosaur from the mushroom kingdom. This character has some of the most renowned platformers in history in Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story. Nintendo should give Mario some rest (with 3 major releases on the Wii in as many years) and give Yoshi another solo outing.
Space Channel 5/PaRappa the Rapper. These rhythm games could certainly enjoy some renewed life in Kinect, or even making guest appearances in other franchises (Rock Band, DJ Hero, Dance Dance Revolution). With so many crossovers occurring these days, the fans would eat it up.
Sly Cooper. I won’t list Crash Bandicoot here – he seemed popular by default. But Sly Cooper is another mascot-ish character that had a great trilogy of games, the last one being released in 2005. With Splinter Cell, Metal Gear, and even Batman (Arkham Asylum) being all sneaky and stealthy, there is no shortage of demand for this type of game.
Onimusha. It has been 4 years since a new Onimusha game bowed. This is probably the reality of modern-day game development. Capcom just can’t crank a new one out every 2 years.
Space Quest/King’s Quest. These PC point-and-click adventure games haven’t seen releases since 1995 and 1998 respectively. With the all-new Tales of Monkey Island and the special edition releases of Secret of Monkey Island 1 and 2, the Quest franchises should have been returned to active duty to capitalize on the nostalgia.
Contra. This franchise has seen releases in Japan and on handhelds over the past few years, but no major console iterations in the west since Neo Contra in 2004. Still a hugely popular franchise, and often used as the benchmark to gauge difficulty in games.
Did I omit one or erred in a selection? Let me know.
Sorry for the lack of activity as of late! Been conjuring up designs for work. Without further ado, here are some new renders of a previous post, my then-prediction of the Xbox 360 Slim.
Plus a lot of you have been google-searching for an Xbox 360 Slim these past few weeks. Clearly there is an appetite for a smaller, leaner Xbox 360. Why are people obsessed with thinner?
I still like my design because it actually is reflective of the box namesake, as opposed to the angular redesign Microsoft issued for the recent 360 makeover. I will give them credit for offering their newest system in both glossy and matte finish versions, so consider this re-post my “glossy” version.
I will soon be unveiling some new Blu-Ray sets and some more Video Game systems. Stay tuned!
Well, it’s an improvement – if this is indeed the newest hardware. It has yet to be officially confirmed. Read the full story here at Kotaku. It looks to still have the disc tray, which are junky and awkward and outdated, in my opinion. I do like the side vent grills, very sports-car like. The angular shape looks odd, though this is on purpose – Microsoft wants you to take notice, and mess with your pattern recognition center of the brain as you do a double-take. Dynamic lines always make people take notice.
Still, I am biased towards my own recent design:
Either way, I’m sure Microsoft has developed a much more reliable machine, to avoid a repeat of the RROD fiasco that plagued the platform for all its 5 years. With x number years at the drawing board for the new 360, it must be perfection now, right?
UPDATE: I have updated the artwork, with some alterations and a new glossy finish here.
UPDATE #2: I designed a matching controller here.
With E3 2010 around the corner, I’m hoping there is a few more hardware unveils to be had besides the much-hyped Nintendo 3DS. I decided to take matters into my own hands and design a 360 Slim console, to replace the 5-year old 360 design.
The XBOX 360, while a very powerful and capable machine (when it’s not suffering RROD), has always been ugly to me. It looks like an appliance, and even the power button feels like it’s been borrowed from a stove top. I think it’s “Alien Spacecraft” look is dated and doesn’t look great parked next to an LCD screen.
Here is my take on what a 360 Slim or redesign should look like. Firstly, I got rid of the disc tray in favor of a loading slot, like the Wii and PS3. Secondly, the memory card slots are parked on top next to the hard drive.
As for the overall look of this 360 Slim, It was highly influenced by 360 art and packaging, oddly enough. There is a huge air intake in the front (this thing needs to breathe, am I right?), made up of two sets of encircling ring patterns. The top of the console looks like the banner of a 360 game package, which would look great over a face plate.
I designed the layout to truly showcase a face plate. It would sit under the LED band, and now you can actually see some nice art framed, say the box art from HALO 3. The face plate would be smaller, allowing publishers to include it inside the game box, methinks.
There are a few more LED lights, one large band to indicate power, and the XBOX ‘LIVE’ word to show you are connected. It’s cosmetic, but I think it looks cool.