[Opinion] Xbox One game cases have their insides all mixed up

Xbox One game case

Since the launch of the Compact Disc in 1982, jewel cases and all cases thereafter always had one constant variable: the inserts, including the cover and/or instruction manual would be situated on the left and the disc would sit comfortably on the right.

We’re all used to opening our cases like this. It’s like second nature to us at this point. But then Microsoft decides to throw us for a loop with the Xbox One and revels against this long-standing status-quo.

Open up an Xbox One game case and you will instantly feel alienated. The scene you’re used to seeing has been totally flipped around. The disc now lays on the left side while any instruction manuals, codes or other papers are on the right.

What the hell, Microsoft?

So why did Microsoft decided to change this? I don’t even know. I do commend them for trying something different though, and I don’t think this awkward design change will go the way of the HD-DVD. This new game case design is here to stay whether we like it or not.

But that’s not to say I entire dislike the new case. In fact, the exterior of the case is better than ever. On a recent trip to a local game shop, I took a moment to inspect an Xbox One case. I like how “Xbox One” and the logo are printed on the box instead of on the game’s cover as seen on PlayStation 4 game cases. This clears up some space on the cover, which gives the cover art a cleaner presentation. As someone who loves a good box cover, this is a big plus in my book.

Inside the case is where the issues start to creep up, however. The Xbox One’s signature logo is inscribed where the CD would usually be, which in a way is kind of cool, but it gets overshadowed by any papers that lay over it. And then we get to my biggest issue with this new design: the new disc placement. With the disc being held on the left side of the case, the weight feels off-balanced and the disc will always be held upside down within its case when it gets stored away. While I’m fairly certain it won’t actually cause any problems in the long run, the plastic holding that holds the disc could break more easily and possibly even damage the disc.

So I have to ask you this, Microsoft. Why? Why are you trying to change something that’s been the status quo for over 30 years? You’re a hardware company that has set various standards for many years. Don’t try to change it now. It kind of makes me wonder how much money went into the R&D for this case.

Familiarity is a strong tool. While the average gamer may or may not be bothered by this change, this irks me on a near-OCD level. Luckily, I’m not planning on buying an Xbox One anytime soon. And if I ever do, then I guess I will just have to learn to live with it. Or make my own “corrected” cases.


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Author: Allain Richard View all posts by
Allain Richard is a graduate of both 3D Graphics and Graphic Design College courses. With 20 years of gaming experience, he has plenty of knowledge about a wide range of games. He is also Canadian and speaks “Le Français”.
  • HalfBlackCanadian

    Super confused at the ‘up-side down’ remark at first then I realized that you’re talking about when the case is laid down flat…
    I honestly think the placement is amazing. Since always I have opened a case, switch the weight to my left hand, and then pulled the disc out with my dominant right hand. I have (and continue) to see people do this all the time with every other case: Hold in right, pry open with left, put case in left hand, pull disc out with right. Now it’s pick up with right, pry open with left, continue holding in the way your hand placement is left after opening, remove disc with free right hand.
    I wish more cases did this.
    Obviously, IMO, but I really think this is just like keyboards… ARGUABLY there are much more efficient letter placements available, but they are always looked down on because that isn’t the way it’s always been, therefore it’s dumb.