Microsoft: Turn the Xbox One vertical? Do so 'at your own risk'

The upcoming Xbox One wants to keep its feet flat on the ground. It wasn't built to be upended, an Xbox exec warns.

Xbox One
The Xbox One: stay horizontal, friend. Microsoft

Microsoft has a warning to gamers: don't turn the Xbox One on its side.

Speaking to CNET sister site GameSpot in an interview published Thursday, Microsoft's senior director of product management and planning at Xbox, Albert Panello, said that the $449 Xbox One should not be placed vertically because it has a slot-loading drive.

"We don't support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk," he said. "It wouldn't be a cooling problem, we just didn't design the drive for vertical. Because it's a slot loading drive, we just didn't design it for both."

The admission is somewhat odd. Both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 come with slot-loading drives, and they support both vertical and horizontal orientations. The Xbox 360 came with a tray drive, but was allowed to be placed vertically. Vertical orientation is important for some gamers who want to save space in their home entertainment furniture and stack multiple consoles alongside each other.

But perhaps it won't be an issue for most gamers, since they seem to be a level-headed bunch: "We found," said Panello, "that 80 percent of people, believe it or not, have their Xbox 360 horizontally."

The Xbox One is scheduled to arrive in stores on November 22.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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