Vertical Game Console Design

I think one thing that stood out after seeing the announcements of the Xbox One and the PS4, is that Sony is the only one now that Is making a Console that can be placed vertically or horizontally. I always felt it was a peculiar yet inspiring move when Sony announced the PS2 and showed it off as a device that could be played vertically.



It was a design challenge for sure. To make a console that had to look good horizontally as well as standing on end. Also up until this point horizontal consoles were not only the norm, but that was all at EVER existed. So when they revealed the design at TGS 1999, it couldn't help but have a striking presence compared to the competition of the time (poor dreamcast).

The generation that followed had all players following suit, with devices that stood both vertically and horizontally. What was a bold design move had become the an expected feature of any console design, regardless of manufacturer. The Wii for example went as far as to make a angled stand, and never showed the console horizontal in press imagery. The XBOX 360 and its subsequent redesigns are rarely if ever shown in ads as a horizontal device either.



Now we fast forward to the upcoming generation. Both Microsoft and Nintendo have seemed to give up on the vertical design idea (the Wii U does have an optional stand, but its not normally pictured sitting vertically and not as integrated as it was with the Wii), while Sony has chosen to keep the idea a important part of the design identity of Playstation.

(The above image may be somewhat misleading, as the cd tray is used to compare the sizes of the PS4 and XBOX, ONE, and it could very well be that they have a different opening design, which would make the slot differing sizes.)

I personally have my PS3 vertical, and my 360 when I had one was horizontal (to avoid my brother's disk scratching issue). I would stand the devices on end when I wanted my setup to look kickass, but normally the PS3 was "up" and the 360 wad "down".

I think Sony as a hardware company likes the subtle bravado a vertical design suggests. Its a ballsy "no side can hide" way of designing a console, especially considering the amount of horsepower both the PS4 and One are to hold.

What do you guys think? Do any of you use consoles vertically? Do you like or hate the idea of a vertically oriented console?