SEATTLE Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed the new Xbox Adaptive Controller, and our hands-on time made us think it could really build the availability gap for players when it launches in September. During the release event, Xbox Spokesman Phil Spencer repeatedly referred to something that was not available for us to test: the XAC box.
"I really can not wait for you to check the box out," Spencer said in throwaway fashion while responding to questions about the $ 99 device. Although we are not usually interested in such "unboxing" prospects, we saw between the lines: maybe this box will also make available steps.
Last week we had to go hand in hand with the upcoming XAC box, handles and stickers ̵
The above and below galleries, taken at my own boxing event at a Microsoft PR office in downtown Seattle, are captions explaining what's really different with this box. First, each sticker has been updated to combine giant, multi-fingerholes and a solid, yet sticky glue. Secondly, each main component of the box now has an incredibly large loop opening, so that more fingers, or part of a foot, can grab and pull something out.
Perhaps most interesting, the box dramatically reduces the use of plastic. The only clear plastic element that is connected to the XAC box is the easily removable inlet seal. This device is only sent with two things – the lap-size XAP controller and single USB cable – and the latter is packed into a small paper box that is easily folded together once pulled out of the box. No baggies, no twisty-ties.
The lightweight box came as a result of almost a year of testing, according to Microsoft Creative Director Kevin Marshall and designer Mark Weiser. The same beta testers who offered feedback on XAC themselves were dropped, including testers, for recording on this box. This meant that you recognized users who usually open boxes with their teeth, with only one hand or with other limited usage cases.
Of course, some design considerations assume no help from a healthcare or living assistant, which seems a rare occurrence, especially since it requires connection of other 3.5mm adapters as we saw and tested under the device's reveal event. And the top gallery reveals a nylon ribbon element that required more power to open than anything else. Nevertheless, it was easy to draw tape, clearing the box's design and flap of paper items everyone felt decidedly easy to tear through – and would be welcome in any other future Xbox box.
Was this, as Spencer suggested during the XAC reveal event in May, a sign of Microsoft boxes coming? "One reason why this package has been so exciting for us is the lessons we have taken of it," Marshall said in an interview. "The journey, our first step in what the future holds … We are very happy to embrace the possibilities."
When asked about the packages implications for future eco-friendly efforts, especially to reduce the trust of plastic-Marshall dodged a direct response. "Our adaptive controller packaging is as recyclable as the rest of our packaging," he said. "Sustainable thinking in our package design, and measuring results on a yearly basis, is a business decision. We were aware of additional plastic, paper and material. These layers provide obstacles to users trying to access this product."  Listed image of Sam Machkovech