Interestingly, it’s not a joke, yet that is the punch line for this inventive marvel.
Most game consoles are a little bit less-than-portable—that’s why the mobile market is awash with handhelds that act like consoles but run in their own little world. Consoles require a wall socket and a TV screen to be useful, in the computer world we call the portable screen-and-computer a laptop…now, thanks to an enterprising Maker redditor named DBrizzle, there’s a laptop Xbox!
“So I spent the last 8 months converting an Xbox 360 Slim into a portable, laptop 360!” writes DBrizzle on Reddit. “Despite many manhours, pitfalls and other troubles, it is finally finished and IMHO looks pretty damn slick!”
The entire operation is documented with an imgur.com slideshow and shows how he took apart a normal Xbox—motherboard, DVD-drive, hard drive, power supply, and other components, and embedded them into a 2” laptop-like casing with a screen. After a little bit of remodeling, its good to go and he takes it to the pub to play alongside friends.
“Since finishing, my favourite thing was a visit to see friends on the release of the latest DLC for Battlefield 3 – I took it along and when I met them we gave it a go IN THE PUB!”
The little project quickly made its way from an unassuming thread to topping the front page of r/gaming, netting more than 21,477 up votes (although it tops out around 2453 points after down votes.) This project certainly looks like a lot of fun, and thoughts have been circulating about others making their own Xbox laptops. The problem becomes that Microsoft has been long problematic about people modifying their products—although they kindly relaxed quite a bit when it came to the Kinect.
Modifying the Xbox 360 in any way can lead to it being banned from connecting to Xbox LIVE, essentially terminating its usefulness for any gaming at all because the Internet-enabled element of the console is integral. This has also meant that people could buy pre-broken (see: pre-banned) refurbished Xbox consoles from major retailers and find themselves out the purchase price.
On the technical specs, DBrizzle says that he didn’t built a battery into it—noting that even a heavy-duty Li-Ion battery would not last even an hour of normal use. As a result, it’s a brick-laptop that must be plugged into the wall; but with its form factor, at least it could be easily toted from say home to pub without much of a problem. Just add a backpack to carry controllers and peripherals and it’d probably make a good gaming platform over smokes and beer.
The addition of a Kinect attachment might make this system even better—it could potentially even be integrated into the case with some sort of waldo enabling it to be aimed or placed.
Even with the Xbox 720 somewhere on the horizon, I doubt that we’ll be seeing an Xbox laptop from Microsoft (or anyone else) in the near future. It’s obvious that Microsoft is aiming at more consoles and making the bridge console-to-mobile rather than weighing people down with a device that would behave like a laptop—the mobile gaming device and console market seem to cover everything the gamer needs right now.
As a laptop, Xbox is a novelty and worth a nod. Excellent job DBrizzle.