Yes, You Can Lay The Xbox Series X Flat

Laying it down with Series X.

125 Comments

Microsoft's Xbox Series X, formerly known as Project Scarlett, is an unconventional-looking games console. The hardware was shown off for the first time during The Game Awards and seems to evoke a PC tower-like design. However, speaking to GameSpot, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that owners will still have the freedom to position the console how they want.

"The first thing I wanted to say is the [Xbox Series X's] design works vertical or horizontal, just like the Xbox One S and Xbox One X," he said. "We think that it's not our job to dictate the orientation of our console in your home. That is up to you."

During our interview, we asked Spencer what his first reaction to seeing the console was, and he went on to reveal that, despite its striking design, the Xbox Series X can fade into the background--it doesn't demand attention or have to become the focal point of a room.

Xbox Series X Specs Quick Look

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU: AMD Navi-based GPU (~12 TFLOPs)
  • RAM: GDDR6 SDRAM (capacity not confirmed)
  • Storage: NVMe SSD (capacity not confirmed)
  • Max Output Resolution: 8K
  • Max Refresh Rate: 120Hz

"When we set this design goal for the power that we wanted to put in, I was not sure what the [team was] going to be able to come back with because we really pushed the envelope on what we thought a home console could do. And I was really impressed with what they came back with.

"Now it sits in my home [and] it just kind of goes away. It's quiet, it sits on the shelf--to be fair, I have mine laying on its side--and just where it sits in my setup, it just goes away. And that's exactly what I wanted it to do."

Despite that, the Xbox Series X also wears its power on its sleeve, according to Spencer. "When my daughters were over for Thanksgiving and they came down to see it--they know what dad does--they said they thought it looked powerful. They were just like, 'That is cool.'

"So I was happy that we were able to challenge some of the preconceptions of what it should look like and then really impressed with what they were able to land given the performance that we wanted out of the box."

GameSpot got to see the Xbox Series X before its unveiling and hear about the hardware, its new controller, and Phil Spencer's vision for what it represents. You can learn about that in our exclusive Xbox Series X reveal feature.

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BlueFlameBat

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I think I'll wait until at least the second model. I don't want a bunch of the games to run like crap on the model I bought because they were designed to work on the upgrade.

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Just1MoHr

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Yes, but can I use those vents to reheat my pizza? I'm rooting for the underdog and I hope those studios surprise us with great titles. First Sony got Spiderman & now the Predator, and that truly stings and so I will have to undust my PS4 for the latter. MS hooked me with backwards compatibility, but I am hungry for new titles now. I would love a Spiderman, Predator, Terminator, & Aliens shooter.

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Donut0389

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Edited By Donut0389

Doesn't change the fact that it looks ugly as sin. Look at my younger brothers entertainment center. 50' 4k flat screen, original PS4 (launch edition, even), 360 Slim on its side, and a WiiU 32gb black. All arranged in a nice setup on a sleek glass topped center with the consoles residing one next to the other, next surface down from the glass top.

Then there's the Series X. A big fat cube that matches with nothing and sticks out like a sore thumb. Nah. It has a design aesthetic that doesn't fit in with ANY modern devices you see in entertaiment centers. Even cable boxes and DVD players are now small, sleek, minimalist affairs.

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iSharpii

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Looks like the console is going to be 1 controller wide by 2 1/2 or 3 controllers tall

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@isharpii: Which is actually smaller than the Xbox One.

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BarcaAzul

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Good to know, that’s another plus then, upright wouldn’t work under my TV

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ConsoleHaven

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I love any kind of technology that plays video games and I’m just a little jealous that his family members get to be exposed to it a whole year before release.

Adopt me please!

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Sevenizz

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I’m sold!

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strrckshn

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No that’s not the console that’s just the power brick they revealed

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rodoxthedark

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Do love the new console excitement....

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Neurogia

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There's something wrong here when the head of Xbox says it fades into the background and doesn't demand attention.

Foreshadowing much?

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Sevenizz

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@neurogia: It’s more of a dig at Sony consoles which are traditionally loud

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kgsg-19-2

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eh... Why is it designed to be vertical when cabinets are horizontal and thus that's why electronics that connect to a tv are horizontal. I still like the design, just wrong direction.

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Guy_Brohski

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@kgsg-19-2: It's actually designed to be horizontal or vertical. Did you even watch the video?

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ShakesMcQueen

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Edited By ShakesMcQueen

@kgsg-19-2:"and thus that's why electronics that connect to a tv are horizontal."

The PS2, PS3, and Xbox 360 were all unveiled in a vertical orientation, like the Series X. And like the Series X, they also all supported a horizontal orientation.

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Sevenizz

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@kgsg-19-2: Might be time to update your living room set up. Cabinets are OUT! Have been for years.

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BDRTFM

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@kgsg-19-2: Never put a console or PC in an enclosed space.

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rodoxthedark

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@kgsg-19-2: I don’t have mine in the cabinets to keep them cooler, I just have them on top at the edge

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Mogan

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@kgsg-19-2: Not every cabinet is designed the same way and not everybody uses one. The cabinets I've got under my TV are square, and tall enough for me to put consoles vertical to save space.

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kgsg-19-2

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@mogan: uch... that sounds horrible. I have 2 consoles designed to lay flat w/ a 360 that's flat and 2 other electronics that are both meant to be flat. I'd have to stack several things under my tv which sounds like a really bad idea. Plus now that I think of it, the now regular wide screen tv's on a cabinet that's designed to be vertical sounds like a really bad idea.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@kgsg-19-2: It may sound horrible to you, but it's been a real nice entertainment center for me. And since it sounds like it'll fit the Series X in it horizontal or vertical, I imagine that'll stay the case.

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tonyleo01

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@kgsg-19-2: you can lay it on the side apparently

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kgsg-19-2

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@tonyleo01: You can but for people ocd-like-ish such as myself the "X" logo is gonna be sideways. Which is why I'm hoping ms adds the feature to be able to manually (or automatically) change the direction of the logo.

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tonyleo01

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Edited By tonyleo01

@kgsg-19-2: Didn't think about that... But maybe it's like the PS2 era when you can rotate the PS logo if you decide to stand your console up on its side :P Hopefully.

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BDRTFM

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I don't get all the negativity about the name and shape? Nintendo came out with the fugly GameCube which was a cube and a stupid name. It had zero impact on the enjoyment of the games it ran. Microsoft makes theirs a cuboid and calls it the Xbox Series X and people are losing it. And if you cannot figure out which Xbox is the latest model on the store shelf because the name is throwing you off, there are people there that can help you. I guess if the name and shape is all people are complaining about, they must be doing OK so far.

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Neurogia

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@bdrtfm: GameCube had Smash Bros. Melee, have you heard of it?

Also, it was the first system to have a wireless controller go mainstream. The wavebird.

The GameCube didn't do well in sales, but to this day it has legendary games.

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

@neurogia: Umm, that was my whole point. Reading comprehension is key. The name and shape has nothing to do with the quality of the games.

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masonshoemocker

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I'm looking at my Xbox One X from the top and if you cut that in half horizontally and stack that piece on top, it doesn't seem big at all unless you place it vertically, of course.

The name though, is going to confuse parents for sure. What's funny is, I don't think Microsoft needs to sell a lot of this console to be successful. I think their goal is to sell subscriptions to Game Pass and/or give people an easier entry to decent powered hardware with the monthly payment plan.

Whether you choose to ignore the console and prefer the PC or game on your phone, as long as they get people people to subscribe to Game Pass, that's constant money through the year. The Xcloud thing will change a lot of peoples minds when they realize they can play their library on the phone.

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hordicus

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i'm a pc player but have also a ps3 and an xbox 360. i'm not a big fan of halo and gears of war but i'm a big fan of forza, the ps3 has amazing exclusives : uncharted, last of us and mgs 4 but i like the monolithic shape of the x thing. it will perhaps solve the overheating problem.

i plan to get a 4K tv next year but dont know if i'll get some next gen console, the price of console games is just crazy imo.

i play video games since pong and space invaders so i'm kind of used playing with square shooting another blocks and having big fun with it.

i passed current gen because it came when i just as i pourchased a very serious pc rig but the prices they're asking for any single game is just insane, with dlc, season pass, soon you'll have to pay 150 $$ for a complete game, thanks, but no thanks.

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nikolistary

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I feel like placing it horizontally wont do much, seeing how incredibly thick it is.

If an apartment building fell on its side it would still be huge.

Idk. I feel like it's too big. I feel like most people will place it vertically, then dislike it and try horizontally, then dislike that and go back to vertical, but still be mad.

Its 2020. Consoles need to be 2 inches tall max.

And it's also a huge bummer that this thing looks identical to a beefy PC but has no VR support. Boo.

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Mogan

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@nikolistary: It looks like it's about as wide as the controller, which they say is just slightly smaller than the Xbox One's. That's not actually all that large. I'll bet the Xbox One and the OG Xbox are both larger than the Series X by volume.

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squishytia

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@nikolistary: If you want power, you need space for cooling. Lots of space, especially with AMD APUs (or AMD anything). Frankly, I wish the PS4 Pro had been a couple inches thicker so it could house a beefier heatsink with a better blower (larger blowers can run at lower RPMs and push the same air as thinner blowers that have to run faster to reach the same CFM rating).

I built my first hackintosh for overkill cooling. I don't like the gurgles of liquid cooling pumps nor the possibility of leaks eventually occuring, destroying the hardware the cooler was supposed to protect. I went big. Very big. Noctua NH-D14 big. It's quiet. My system has seven fans in it. Front intake is 200mm, side intake is 2x120mm. Top exhaust is 200mm, rear exhaust is 140mm. The NH-D14 has a 150mm and 120mm fan attached to it (went with 120mm on the push side to accomodate RAM without increasing cooler height).

A good system will have roughly equal intake/exhaust capability. Consoles usually lack on the intake side, so they make up with it on the exhaust side with blowers. If you want to cool modern hardware that's fairly powerful, you need room to do it. I'd rather have a console that looks like the XBSX that doesn't overheat like the PS4 Pro can and is quiet most of the time due to having enough cooling capacity that the fan doesn't have to sound like a harrier jet taking off every moment the console is turned on. Honestly, I'd much prefer a console roughly the size of my Yamaha CX-A5100 prepro (maybe not in depth, but definltly in width and height).

What I don't want is for consoles to go all Apple on us where they sacrifice performance and run into thermal throttling (PS4 Pro says hi again!) just to maintain some Jony Ives-esque look. I'm not looking at my console when I'm playing games. I'm looking at the hopefully gorgeous games on my TV/monitor. Just like when I use a computer, I'm not looking at it from the side in are, I'm working from the front.

Thin is fine for portable stuff, but not for powerhouses. I'd kill for a Switch that was permadocked and twice the size so its Maxwell SoC wasn't limited to such a low clock rate.

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nikolistary

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@squishytia: Well said!

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MigGui

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@nikolistary: you’d have to have liquid cooling for it to be 2 inches tall and still operate as it does. Or to throw performance away and have ipad-like specs.

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ShakesMcQueen

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@nikolistary: 2 inches tall?! lol. The XBSX looks to be about as "thick" as the average A/V receiver, which means it should fit just fine in most TV cabinets/stands, if laid on it's side.

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MaccMosley

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It still only plays Gears of War ,Halo and Forza,the thing can make waffles if it doesnt have the games its worthless. I have always owned both systems from each generation until this one,the Xbox just didnt have a single game that justified me buying a whole system to play it. My PS4 has been the most amazing system I have ever owned and its just because of the games,thats why I game. Microsoft had better come up with some games besides Gears 8 or Halo 7 or theyll get smashed. This is just my opinion so dont let it trigger all you sensitive soul's.

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Guy_Brohski

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@maccmosley: "oNLy pLaYs hALo, gEaRs, FoRzA durr".

I'm guessing you didn't watch this video where Ninja Theory's exclusive was discussed?

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ShakesMcQueen

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@maccmosley: The whole "but the games" refrain is getting kinda dull at this point, after they more than doubled the size of their first-party in direct response to complaints about a lack of games.

They get it. They did something about it, and it'll take at least a couple of years for that something to bear fruit.

Continuing to talk as though they have no intention of doing anything but releasing Gears and Forza games until the sun burns out of the sky, quite literally all evidence to the contrary, is just kinda disingenuous now.

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Carpetfluff

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@shakesmcqueen: Dull maybe, but still true. And aquiring more studios doesn't mean much until they prove their worth with the output. I mean, I hope they turn it around with the games this gen. Maybe I can go back to having both...felt zero need to last gen and that's the first console gen since they've existed I haven't gone for more than one.

(To be fair, I did get a Switch late on but MS gave me nothing to make me come back this time out).

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nikolistary

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@shakesmcqueen: Yeah but Xbox totally botched the entire generation with failure after failure. It's embarrassingly bad.

Ryse sucked.

Quantum Break sucked.

Scalebound sucked so hard it got canceled.

Crackdown 3 took a decade and sucked.

Halo hasn't been good in a decade which sucks.

Shall I go on? Your loyalty to a brand is admirable, but not necessary. They've literally been producing dud after dud for 7 years now. I got an S but never use for reasons said above. And as much as I love Phil Spencer as a person, he has still yet to make this machine usable.

But hey, some people would rather die than pick up a Dualshock.

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Guy_Brohski

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@nikolistary: Sunset Overdrive, Gears 5, Forza Horizon etc don't suck. Some people just hate xbox period.

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ShakesMcQueen

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@nikolistary:Has nothing to do with loyalty, and Xbox aren't "my brand". I always buy all of the consoles, because I like games, not cheering for multinational corporations that couldn't care less about me beyond my wallet. Not only will I pick up a DS4, I've got one sitting right next to my Xbox controller.

You're cherry picking the "duds" (a six year old launch title?! How was Knack again?), and ignoring the games that were fine, or even good. Forza Horizon 3 and 4. Sunset Overdrive. Gears 5. Ori. Cuphead. Quantum Break was fine. Gears 4 was fine. Halo 5 reviewed well at the time, but was not remembered fondly in retrospect.

If your point is that Sony had better exclusives this generation overall, you won't get any disagreement from me - particularly since about 2017.

What I find dull in late 2019, is flogging the dead horse that is "Xbox has no games. Halo, Forza, Gears forever. Ha Ha Ha.", as though they hadn't acknowledged this problem well over a year ago, and spent a ton of money to try and rectify it.

It's like the obnoxious sibling at the dinner table, bringing up some embarrassing mistake from years ago that not only have you apologized for, but taken action to correct. Xbox lost this generation. They deserved to lose this generation. But much like Sony after the PS3 launch, they've demonstrated some lessons learned from that loss.

Now we are heading into a new console generation, Microsoft have over 15 internal studios making games for them, and people are seriously still banging the "haha, Xbox will have nothing but Halo 14, Gears 12, and Forza 72" drum? Come on.

You basically can't count to 10 in the comments section of any story about Xbox, without finding someone letting everyone know that "OKAY BUT WITHOUT ANY GOOD GAMES IT DOESN'T MATTER", as though that were an earth shattering hot take at this point.

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nikolistary

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@shakesmcqueen: Well said. More Xbox people should talk like this.

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VFighter

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VFighter  Online

This might be a worse name then WiiU, wtf Microsoft?!?

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sladakrobot

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Edited By sladakrobot

@vfighter: I know i am in the minority but WiiU never sounded to me bad...in contrary!

Nintendo did a poor job to present it to the public(and what it is) and to all those casual gamers.

Every console gamer knew that the WiiU is a next gen console but not so average joes.

With that said,MS has to put much effort into advertising the new console and make it recognizible as such for everyone who goes shopping at thanksgiving next year.

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Atzenkiller

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@sladakrobot: What are you talking about? The Wii U had last gen hardware, same as the Wii before that. It was barely any more powerful than a PS3, same as the Wii was not much more powerful than a PS2 before it. And aside from that all they did was to give it a tablet for a controllers, which is one of the dumbest things anyone has ever done. The Switch basically just improved this concept to something that made sense: a device that you can connect to a tv or use as a handheld. Having to look at both a tablet and a tv screen at the same time just makes zero sense. But Nintendo needed a new gimmick for their new console and that's the best they came up with at the time.

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sladakrobot

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@Atzenkiller: Dunno but Nintendo didnt compete in the technical department much with existing consoles for decades already. So comparing the WiiU with other consoles makes sense as Nintendo kinda created its own "realm" where competition doesnt exist(its over the top,yeah)
If you wanted Mario,Smash,Zelda etc. you bought their console no matter the specs.
Same with the Switch,its technically obsolete but they hit a nerve and it sells like hotcakes...so much that publishers want to bring their games to it even if heavily downgraded.
Back to my comment: The WiiU could sold alot better with Nintendo doing their job properly.
PS-I am with you,the WiiU controller was a bad,bad idea but hey,Nintendo thinks sometimes too much outside of the box

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Atzenkiller

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Edited By Atzenkiller

@sladakrobot: In my view Nintendo nowadays is purely running based off of the image they've build up for themselves, and on an endless flood of sequels of any brands they've created decades ago. There's really nothing innovative about the Switch. It's just a handheld with finally better hardware than what Nintendo has been putting out for so many years before that. The DS and 3DS were pure gimmick hardware, same as the Wii and Wii U. But the Switch can't even compete with most smartphones on the market today, so what's really keeping them afloat? I'd say it's only their brand, cause people will buy their stuff anyway, no matter what they release. Same as with Apple. As long as it's not a complete turd like the Wii U, but they've been playing it safe with the Switch after that disaster.

And your comment pretty much confirms this: the Wii U could have been more successful if Nintendo had done a better job at promoting it. But if that had been the case it would have been purely because it's another Nintendo console that runs the ever same Nintendo franchises. Certainly not because the console itself had a reason to exist. The market has ultimately shown what it thought of it.

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