The Xbox One X logo nearly looked VERY different – here's why

Xbox One X
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Along with the PlayStation and Nintendo logos, the Xbox symbol is one of the most recognisable gaming logos in the world. The design has been present and correct on every console since the Xbox 360 – but it was nearly very different on the Xbox One X.

In an interview with GQ magazine, head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently revealed that Microsoft toyed with implementing a motorised logo that could rotate 90 degrees, so it was always the right way up regardless of how the user had chosen to position the console. (Looking for logo inspiration? Check out the best logos of all time.)

Xbox One X

The logo is only the right way up when the console is horizontal (Image credit: Microsoft)

Xbox designers "never like the logo sitting sideways," Spencer told GQ – so the solution (for a while) was a motorised logo. And it wasn't even expensive to implement – Spencer says it would cost the production "a single solitary buck". Even the non-motorised rotating logo on the original PS2 may have cost more than that.

But as Spencer points out - one buck might not be a huge sum, but what if Microsoft sold a hundred million Xbox One X consoles? "Suddenly, that’s a hundred million dollar decision." In the end, the rotating button – described by Spencer as “just another thing that could fail” – wasn’t worth the potential cost.

It's one of the most famous gaming logos around

It's one of the most famous gaming logos around (Image credit: icemanphotos / Shutterstock)

It's always fascinating to learn about gaming design ideas that weren't to be. From those hundreds of unused Nintendo Wii logos to that horrendous McDonald's PS5 DualSense controller, there've certainly been a few near-misses over the years. And there could be more to come – we're still waiting to find out whether Sony's wacky new controller concept will become a reality.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.