Here is the Xbox 360 laptop prize for THQ’s “Darksiders” game. The casing / shell design was done by myself and then Colorware (over in Minnesota – go midwest!) printed graphics on it using Joe Madureira artwork as a basis.
It’s pretty slick looking, I’d heard of Colorware before but this is first time I’ve seen what they can do in person. Very glossy! The game itself comes out later this year I believe.
For the making of story and more pictures and video, click below.
Router time! Once again I went over to Richland Center and had Jim Greeley Signs & Awnings (free shoutout, you’re welcome) slice up some cases for me. These were a little trickier since they have beveled edges and thus the pieces must be routed on both sides.
Kevin Rott – Router Operator/Mall Cop – showing off the first pass of the cutting procedure. Kevin has since moved on to join the exciting, fast-paced world of IT but he’s still doing well and bought us all a couple rounds of beer last Friday, thanks Kevin!
Cutting the insides of the screen frames. This creates a LOT of particle waste since it’s a subtractive process, and again we didn’t bother hooking up the vacuum. I don’t like it, just gets in the way. The bits that fly out would work great as fake snow, it usually makes enough to film Die Hard 2 several times over.
Clearly this the safest thing I have ever done. We call this the “Moses Stick” and it’s used to wrangle material, mostly keeping it flat. Yes of course you could use clamps (instead of just the vacuum) but those can get in the way and it’s just one more “point of failure” to worry about.
Cleaning out the inside of the curved pieces. We made a jig using Styofoam so the cut out piece could be held firmly in place while we “canoe out” the inside of it.
Some people have wondered “Why do Ben’s cases always have sharp corners?” and it’s because curved corners take a lot LOT longer! But they look good.
Blank case, ready to go or something.
Putting the pieces together to see how they fit. As with the last portable 360, the hard drive is the original OEM model and is easily removable.
Back of the case when opened. The black friction hinges from McMaster-Carr work great but damn, they’re expensive. (I guess so is this project).
Case when closed from rear. The holes are the HDMI/power for the screen (top) and power input for the system (bottom).
The casing all assembled but in boring white. At this point I sent the pieces off to Colorware to get, well, colored.
Testing the Xbox Live Vision camera on a laptop. It’s always good to have a laptop on your workbench for testing controllers, cameras and of course wasting time on Facebook.
And yes that’s right – I’m a PC. With Vista even. Yeah! Suck it.
With the case pieces back from Colorware I started stuffing crap into them. This is the inside of the main inside surface – it contains the speakers, Ring of Light (slash death), eject/sync buttons, USB port and Wi-Fi antenna.
Interesting fact I discovered while testing the USB port – the Xbox 360 does not recognize thumb drives formatted in NTFS. Weird, huh?
The unit in “debug position”. The lower half of the unit contains the lion’s share of the components.
The above diagram calls out all, or almost all, of the main parts inside the Xbox 360 portable. As you can see I’ve added a lot of copper… This is the last Falcon 360 I’ll probably mod, the future ones are all Jaspers so I can probably ease up a little on the heatsinks.
Inside surfaces ready to go!
Colorware even did the bottom of the case, very cool! There are more air holes here, as well as size 10 screws for mounting the DVD drive.
The finished unit, downloading NXE. Another interesting fact: I have yet to find a 360 with NXE pre-installed, even ones built well after the official launch of NXE.
Well that’s about all I have for today. You can click here to watch a video of it running THQ’s WALL*E game. (BTW WALL*E should have won more Oscars, I don’t care how many Ben Burtt has already!)
Finally, click the photo below to explore the area around it! Might be interesting…