Why The Xbox One Is The 'Blackest Black' A Black Can Be

The Xbox One is not just black. It is "liquid black". There's an element of marketing fluff behind this, of course, and the console's design team are not short on marketing fluff, but behind all that, there's some interesting reasons for the decision.

No, really.

Here's an excerpt from a design piece on Microsoft's new "Xbox Wire" site that explains why not just the console, but the controller as well, are so dark.

The console and Kinect sensor are liquid black so they melt into the background when being used, allowing the content on your TV to dominate the living room. The user interface is overlaid on the same shade of deep black so that the content tiles on the dashboard are more vivid and easier to navigate and interact with.

Even the wireless controller uses liquid black to enhance visibility. The traditional A, B, X and Y buttons were re-designed so that the coloured letters now float on a sea of rich, liquid black, a “triple-shot of injected resin,” clearly defining their placement on the controller.

Like I said, there's fluff in there, but also some genuine practicality. If you're not put off by design talk like that, there's more at the full report, which strikes a nice balance between interesting approach and complete bullshit.

The Beauty of Xbox One: A New Approach to Design [Xbox]


    The console and Kinect sensor are liquid black so they melt into the background when being used,

    See, if that shit don't pull a T1000 whenever anyone plays it now, I'll be THOROUGHLY disappointed.

    I checked that link "The Beauty of Xbox One".
    Comments aren't possible on that page, so I'll put one here:
    Hey Xbox design team! Stop wanking!

    Hearing the terms 'Blackest Black' and 'Liquid Black', it seriously reminds me of descriptions for mascara colours.

    Xbox One 'The Blackest Black'.

    Because you're worth it.

      Women: "The Xbox One isn't 'just black', it's 'The Blackest Black'! It really brings out the highlights of our living room!"
      Men: "No, it IS just black, just like your lipstick is red. Not 'medium pomegranate red', just red. Our living room looks fine. Let's just go, we're late"

      It didn't remind you at all of Spinal Tap?

        "It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."

    Dust magnet.
    You won't be able to miss it when it's that black.

      Clean yo house, fool.

        I have the cleanest house in the western hemisphere. My black devices still accumulate dust, it drives me up the wall.

          That's racist.

          Well maybe if you lived inside a vacuum-sealed chamber you wouldn't have to deal with dust!

        Hide yo wife hide yo kids? I dunno, when someone speaks like that, that's all I can get a visual of. lol.

        Last edited 02/06/13 12:36 am

    Like I said, there’s fluff in there, but also some genuine practicality.

    lolwut? Making it black?

    As long as there isn't a bright power light on the front with the power of a small torch, it'll be fine.

      Hah, a thousand times this.
      I refer specifically to the blue "you are this player" light on the Wii-U Pro Controller, If a black hole and the LED used for that light were to duel, I would put some money on the LED just in case.

    No matter how hard they try... it'll never be as black as priest socks.

      This Xbox is only a very very very very very very dark blue.

    Oh piss off Luke... you just bought their marketing bullshit. It's black because it has to be. White looks horrible to most mature adults.

      White looks horrible to most mature adults? What sort of ass backwards logic is that. Oh no, I am immature because my washing and dryer are white. Oh know, my ceiling fans are white as are my plates! My titles in my bathroom are white... my toilet is white. Yeah excellent logic there.

      Now maybe, maybe I jumped the gun and you meant specifically consoles, but you didn't mention it so backpedal if you wish. Although, the Wii is one of the highest and fast selling consoles as is the DS/3DS and they come predominantly in white sooooo sales says you're incorrect.

        I think he just meant electronics.

        Oh no, I am immature because my washing and dryer are white.

        lol. I think "white goods" are supposed to be white

          seems there is at least one other adult here...

    The console and Kinect sensor are liquid black so they melt into the background when being used, allowing the content on your TV to dominate the living room.

    I know a vast sum of people who would prefer liquid fire to liquid black. Not only would it achieve the same result of melting into the background but it would also (mind blank, word used instead of meet in the sentence "meet the criteria" that I believe begins with S) of making your TV stand out.
    Just woke up, and yes I know it is almost 1pm :P


        Satisfy -_-
        How did I not come up with that earlier, maybe more sleep is in order

    Why did they make it a piano black finish when they know they are going to have to switch to a matte black later on?

    Maybe it's black so it absorbs more energy and you don't need to change the batteries in the thing so often...

    Because I spent countless hours distracted by the originals white controllers?

    Personally I prefer the white 360's since they are a bit more distinctive.

    'Why The Xbox One Is The ‘Blackest Black’ A Black Can Be' ... to match the bleak and soulless outlook of Microsoft's representation of gaming going into the next generation?

    "... so they melt into the background..." so is that a hint about the X1 melting just like the 360 melted and got RROD'd?

    blacker than the blackest black... times infinity

    I'd believe they let Nigel Tufnel design the Xbone.

    It's black enough to match the soul of Microsoft and what they are doing to the next generation of consoles.

    Microsoft are pioneering new ways of describing the colour black.

    The controller looks great, but the console looks like they didn't know how to architect a modern consumer electronic device, and so they went with a Hp Office desktop shape with plenty of ventilation to fool proof for themselves.

    I thought they would think out of the box and put convenience and artistry in terms of design engineering to a whole new level with these consoles.

    Instead they went back to the BOX and called it BOX 1.

    For something you buy to last 7-8 years in your living room, this box is very disappointing.

    Last edited 02/06/13 1:06 pm

    Sounds like MS is mixing up the bullshit lingo that designers have to use to pitch their concepts internally to clueless department heads with actual marketing. As an artist, I hear this crap a lot. Usually from people out of college. A lot of it has to do with convincing the "customer" that you know more about what they want than they do. The intent is to impress upon them that they have not considered concepts integral to the piece's success.

    Of course, a well-considered choice can come naturally if you're doing it right, but from somebody who's used to hearing it, I can tell you this is what it sounds like when the designers are bullshitting and someone expected them to come up with a way to improve on something that was already practical.

    I'm really hoping there will be a PC compatible version of the controller. I love my 360 controller but want to move to PC, I just feel like I need a controller to play. And this controller looks good!

    "Bullshit Bullshit Black Bullshit Xbox Bullshit Bullshit Liquid Bullshit Triple shot of Bullshit fuck me in the ass with Bullshit" - Microsoft

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