In the two-year process to create and design the Xbox One, Microsoft developed more than 75 console and 200 controller concepts along with 100 versions of the Kinect sensor, according to a report today from VG 24/7.
“There was this conundrum in that we had to meet and satisfy desires of core gamers and Xbox fans, and at same time we wanted Xbox to reach out and mean something to new people,” Ledbetter said.
Ledbetter said Microsoft’s goal in designing the Xbox One was to “amplify” the features of the machine that appealed to gamers with the Xbox and Xbox 360 while also making the next-gen console “disappear into the living room.”
“We were extremely thorough. We were trying to push boundaries, to do something new and inventive, but there was so much at stake that we had to be really careful as well,” Ledbetter said. “The reason why there was so much at stake is that people really, really care about Xbox.”
Among those reservations about the Xbox One design was the controller, Ledbetter said, which features a bevy of improvements.
“There was never a direct ask for us to make it better,” Lebetter said. “People were a little apprehensive, like, ‘We have a great controller. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’”
However, the Microsoft design team proved its thoroughness by using more than 1,000 testers to make sure things like the triggers and form felt natural that improved on the Xbox 360 controller.
“We crafted every last detail,” Lebetter said.
In November, Xbox general manager for accessories Zulfi Alam said that Microsoft spent “hundreds of millions” to build models of the Xbox One controller, which meant the design team needed a hit with its finished product.