The Xbox 360 looked pretty good when it sat vertically. The Xbox One won’t be able to, apparently. Xbox’s Albert Panello told GameSpot at the ongoing Tokyo Game Show that it isn’t recommended to keep the upcoming Xbox One in a vertical position. "We don't support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk," he warned.
Panello later clarified, "It wouldn't be a cooling problem, we just didn't design the drive for vertical. Because it's a slot loading drive, we just didn't design it for both."
All of the previous-gen consoles (PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii) had the ability to sit upright without any issues. The trend was started a generation earlier with the PlayStation 2, which was primarily advertised sitting upright instead of horizontally.
That's why it's been kept horizontally!
Microsoft is quite confident about the sales of Xbox One. The company had earlier revealed that it hopes to make a profit from the launch sales of the Xbox 360. Precedent goes against the company, since the neither the original Xbox nor the Xbox 360 could even break even at launch.
Xbox's Yusuf Mehdi said during the Citi Global Technology Conference that "we're looking to break even or low margin at worst" with the new console. Historically, gaming companies have generally sold their consoles at losses, and recovered the price and made profits thanks to the licensing of games for their consoles.
Mehdi believes that cost-reducing will help further down the line. "As we can cost-reduce our box as we've done with 360, we'll continue to price reduce and get even more competitive with our offering," he said. "You've seen us over the years constantly be focused on profitability and improving year over year. If you look at 360 that platform lasted for seven to eight years and it's going to go for another three years. It's incredibly profitable now in the tail."