Darksiders Xbox 360 laptop for THQ

Gray is the new black

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.

The volume knob part is bad design, I know, I know...

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.

Sound effect for this: EEERRRRRRRRTTTTTTT!!!!!!

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.

Tell 'em what they've won, Kevin!

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.

Ten thousand bit passes later...

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).

Oh no, it's the Apple version of the 360 portable!

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…

56 thoughts on “Darksiders Xbox 360 laptop for THQ”

  1. Cool, But how long ago did you cut this case that Kevin was still at Greeley’s?

  2. Good work again Ben!
    How long did this one take? (I didn’t have time to look at the post)
    You practically poop these things out nowadays!

  3. WOW very nice paint job, very nice shape, all very nice apart from that knob on the side, kinda spoils a really nice x box. couldn’t you have at least put on a smaller knob that didn’t look like it came off an oven or electric heater or something?

    otherwise GOOD JOB

  4. omg! where did you get those metric dial calipers? I’ve been wanting one for months, but have yet to find a non-digital pair.

  5. I agree Yoss, I wouldn’t touch a digital pair of dial calipers with a 10 foot long dial caliper.

    I think they all came off eBay, though Metric non-digital is hard to find. I hate Metric (really has no advantage over English Imperial as far as distance measurements under a foot go) but it’s handy to have around.

  6. I try not to do as little shopping online as a I can for these sort of things, but I may have to make an exception.

    I honestly prefer metric, because the units are much easier to understand, and the base unit (mm) is smaller, leaving off the math that has to be done with the fractions that follow inches.

  7. i porbably would have used buttons for the volume control instead of a knob…

    also, how much would you want to make another one of these?

    and i mean pretty much exactly… just the disc drive front a bit more flush with the case than half in and half out… and change that knob =D or make it smaller…

    but my poinion…

    oh and im curious, since i couldnt really make out what they are, are the holes on the inside the case air holes or are they the keyboard buttons?

    thats the only thing im wondering….

  8. Well then…

    i think a keyboard with air holes around it would be better tho..

    i think if they are air holes, they are probably like that to make the painting easier…

  9. I love you.

    Brains are the biggest turn on in the world.
    I wish I had friends with as much gung ho and talent as you.
    Hell, I wish *I* had that deep set desire to do things!

  10. Amazing work Ben! Even tho ive never made anything like this, I think ill give it a shot to make one of these in the future. I really like the rounded case it looks outstanding!

  11. This is Freaking awesome. HOW COOL WOULD IT BE if you had one of these while waiting 8 hours at the Halo 4 launch, Playing Halo 3. You would sure stick out! That’s like 07, Waiting for Halo 3 while having a Halo 2 Lan party at Gamestop. YOU ROCK BEN!

  12. Wow, that takes some real innovative talent and thinking! Congrats on the success! I was just wondering, can you buy these flashed? And will the new model still cost the same amount?

  13. So, I’m totally wasting time at work, and fantasizing about modding my own 360 in a similar fashion so I don’t have to use a discontinued Gamebridge by Adaptec to play Xbox on my laptop on my deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. The resolution is 640×480 at best and it’s a complete injustice since my other screen is a 52″ Sharp Aquos. If I can accomplish a similar feat, I would try and possibly fail at incorporating two headphone jacks with separate audio thumb adjustments and possibly an additional video out in some form with a switch that shuts off the monitor and switches the output when closed.

    My only trepidation is that I’ll pretty much have to buy another 360 to leave at home when I deploy so my girl can use it.

    As I’m picking through every detailed entry, especially interested in finding a milling place nearby, I read the following: “And yes that’s right – I’m a PC. With Vista even. Yeah! Suck it.” I exclaimed: “What?! F&%k yea! Me too!” right as my boss walked by. Kind of hard to explain to him, but since it’s Friday and hardly anyone’s here, he listened while I explained my enthusiasm.

  14. Its really not tht hard to make a xboxlaptop all you need it a brain and the right resources

  15. I really really want one I don’t have an xbox 360 and I’ve been wanting to play so bad were can I buy a xbox 360 laptop from you

  16. hi!,I really like your writing very much!

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