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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 24, 2006 at 3:58 PM

GDC: Xbox 360, a post-mortem

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two members of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 team gave developers a quick tour through the planning and design of the console, launched in November, at a panel discussion today. They showed four designs the team had considered for the way the console would look on a television screen (the user interface, to borrow some jargon).

The four finalists were named Slice, Concertina, Loop and Pilot. Slice had a green background and cartoony text and art, and was the least favorite. Loop featured a circular look that was tied in appearance to the 360’s power button. Pilot had an amber-colored background and showed a ring that would get bigger as the user clicked through the online pages. But the amber and dark green colors were not well received in focus groups.

The winner? Concertina, which had the “blade” navigation feature that would become central to the Xbox 360’s final appearance.

Paolo Malabuyo, an interaction program manager, said the team’s planning was so thorough that they even took steps to make sure that the warranty card was not the first thing a person would see when unpacking a new Xbox 360. When you see that card first, he said, “it’s like, hey thanks. This might break. You might want to send this card in.”

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