Xbox One Prototype Controllers Included Smell Emitters and a Projector
Written Tuesday, November 19, 2013 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
Microsoft spent over $100 million researching for the Xbox One’s controller, investigating concepts like smell and a built-in projector.
That’s according to a piece over on VentureBeat, which details a number of unusual ideas Microsoft considered before settling on the Xbox One controller’s final (brilliant) design.
"We built small slugs of different types of smells that could actually come out of a controller," explained Zulfi Alam, Xbox's general manager for accessories. "Like, as you walked through a jungle, you'd smell the flora."
Another idea saw the controller projecting ambient visuals into the room around the player, in a similar manner to the company’s IllumiRoom tech.
"I don't want to go into specifics, but it's over $100 million for sure," said Alam. "Between the tooling of the device, the investments we made in process technology, and the engineering work that went into it, we invested a lot to get this thing right."
Other prototype versions included a touchpad, a camera and speakers, however "each one of these ideas fell down".
Microsoft showed off these prototypes to at least 500 members of the public, including men, women, children, casual gamers and eSports professionals. But for hardcore gamers, many of the prototyped gimmicks didn’t go down well.
"You've got a great TV with a better speaker than we could ever put in this controller,” said Microsoft designer Quintin Morris. "And it made more sense to [not make players look down at a display], keeping the user's attention on the TV. We really want them to be immersed in the experience that's happening in front of them.”