The Xbox 360 faceplate experiment

Swappable faceplates were one of the Xbox 360’s key USPs when it burst onto the scene in 2005. Come 2010, however, and a few gel skins aside you won’t find much in the way of faceplates on the High Street.

And the reason, Microsoft has said, is simple – hardly anyone ever bought one.

We don’t ever create an accessory with the intent of having it fail,” Xbox global marketing director Albert Penello told OXM. The idea wasn’t bad… people used to put faceplates on their cell phones. Rewind five years, faceplates were what everybody wanted to do.

It turned out nobody bought it. So we stopped making them. We killed that one pretty quickly.”

The Xbox 360 S, which launched earlier this, doesn’t include swappable faceplates.

MCV still has the faceplate it was given at the Xbox 360 launch party that was hand painted by Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz. It’s in a box, obviously – it would look stupid stuck to the front of the console!

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