An "important object" from Halo 4 inspired the transparent console's design.
Thanks to a glitch in a Microsoft store listing, gamers got an early preview of a Halo 4 special-edition Xbox 360 a couple weeks ago. While several features of the console were gleaned from the briefly-appearing product page, the full scoop is now available thanks to Halo 4 developer 343 Industries. The company has not only released several new high-resolution photos, but has elaborated on the design process of the console as well.
The biggest new detail, which is not apparent in the small preview image in store listings, is that both console and gamepads are actually partly transparent. White, blue, and reflective silver is etched onto the translucent plastic covering. There's even paint and finish on the interior of the console, which apparently does not show up in photos but "provides a subtle depth and detail" to the overall design. The console's overall design is, according to the team, inspired by "an important object in the game that you haven't seen yet."
The final design of the console took "dozens of iterations with hundreds of changing elements," with several ideas being shot down due to sheer practicality. Structural changes in particular suffered because they threw off the hardware's heat dissipation and Wi-Fi signal strength, and most outlandish concepts had to be thrown out in favor of having a functioning console. The custom power and eject sounds, which rely on audio DSPs installed in the gamepads, also presented a challenge. "The real challenge wasn't finding cool sounds," according to the studio, "it was finding sounds that worked well at the low volume and limited frequency range of that tiny speaker."
Besides the custom sounds, console, and gamepads, the bundle includes a 320GB harddrive, Halo 4, and downloadable content for in-game armor and Xbox Live Avatar vanity items. There is also a companion gamepad sold separately, which features a modified UNSC logo etched in the same style as the rest of the hardware. The bundle itself is now officially available for pre-order.