XBOX Surface Concept


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Nov 7, 2012
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Hey all!

So, it is just about certain that Microsoft will be announcing a 7-inch device called the XBOX Surface this year. There have been multiple rumors about it, and the original Surface leak was for this device. I have a bunch of ideas for how this could work out, so I thought I would post some of the concepts I have done.

Disclaimer: I am still not completely satisfied with the product so far, and it isn't completely finished or even polished. So I would love some feedback!

First of all, the XBOX Surface will be running a variant of Windows Blue that is specifically aimed a media consumption and gaming. As such, the tablet will have a four main "hubs" for Games, Music, and Videos (all powered by Xbox), as well as Books (kind of powered by Nook). There will also be a main Apps screen that will look very similar to the WP8 start screen.

The only major addition to the look is new extra-large square live tiles, that have been (ever so slightly) widget-ized. You'll see what I mean in a minute. You can get back and forth between hubs by swiping left or right, the same way the All Apps screen is opened in WP8. Alternatively, you can use the semantic zoom pinch gesture to get to any of the hubs quickly. This is seen in the first concept:

As you can see, Charms have also been optimized for this device, and they come up when semantic zoom is used. There is a dedicated SmartGlass charm, and this means that the SmartGlass experience is heavily integrated with everything in the OS. I hope you can imagine the possibilities. BIG.

So what would one of these "hubs" look like? Well, the image below should give you an idea. Sorry it isn't finished yet. :)

As you can see, there are now four tile sizes, but the extra-large tile is reserved for the app powering each one of the hubs. With the music Hub Tile (as I will call them), you are able to play, pause, and skip music, or just launch the app. A few of the small tiles will perform hub-specific functions--the two here are to create a new Smart DJ and to play a playlist. Artists and albums can also be pinned to the hub screen, as seen with Billy Joel and Boston's album. Social music updates, which Microsoft has promised in an update to Xbox Music, will show up on a separate live tile.

Well, I have a lot more ideas, but I will have to save those for another day before this post gets WAY too long. Again, comments, questions, and feedback are appreciated!


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Jun 19, 2012
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As long as I can play my digital copy of games I own on XBL this would be awesome. I want to be able to play Borderlands, Dragon Age, Bioshock, Bad Company, and others on an airplane and not over wifi like the WiiU and PSVita. Still think that option should be available for games you dont have a digital copy of though i.e. throw skyrim in the disk drive of your 360 before you leave and when you have a good connection play it via wifi. Also, it will need a large hard drive or it will be worthless. I know that if you take the disk drive out of an Xbox 360 you lose a lot of the space and cool issues so I know this is possible but whether or not they do it is another question. MS makes more money if they can require you to buy the game again for the tablet version.
If MS does it right it could be the best mobile platform out there and it would also be another reason for people to buy a Xbox if they do not already have one. I realy want them to do it right because I travel a lot and need something like this. iPad games are not real games but apps, the good gameloft games suck without a controller and replicating dual analog to touch just does not work all that great, PSVita and WiiU suck...BAD, and most computer games do not have controller schemes and battery life of laptops are roughly an hour when gaming.


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Nov 7, 2012
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XBOX Surface concept redux

XBOX Surface: An 8-inch tablet from Microsoft.
The new stage for your games, music, movies, books, and more!

SHORT OVERVIEW: click on the image below to make it larger.


This is an update to a post I made a few months ago. I got a lot of feedback from this forum and others, so I made a few changes. One of the biggest complaints was that it wasn't in landscape view, so to all that must have their landscape, here you go:


As for the portrait view (which I think would be more comfortable):


Let me elaborate on the changes I made.

  1. The Music Hub part of my concept is actually finished now (although not completely polished).
  2. I changed the default color to the darker, more conservative Xbox green.
  3. Some forum members said that the look didn't tie in enough with the Xbox dashboard. To address this, I added an option to use the gradient from the Xbox dashboard and Xbox apps in W8 as the background.
  4. I think it is a good idea to stay monochromatic on the background for this device, so to open it up a bit, I allowed for a light, medium, or dark variation of each background. This is seen below:


The medium and dark gradients could even be an option for customizing the Xbox (720) dashboard!
A VERY rough draft of the Books Hub is shown below:


As always, feedback is very much appreciated! I know my design work isn't professional, so be forgiving if you would.
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