Microsoft has clarified that the Xbox One isn't suited to being placed on its side. If you do an image search for the Xbox One, you'll find that all you'll see are Microsoft's next-gen console positioned horizontally – like most set top boxes. Placing a games console on its side – like many desktop towers – has been popular since the PlayStation 2, and is an accepted way to position an Xbox 360.
According to Albert Panello, senior director of Xbox product management, the Xbox One won't support a vertical orientation due to its slot-loading disc drive.
"We don't support vertical orientation; do it at your own risk," Panello told GameSpot.
Panello clarified that it wasn't a cooling design issue, saying, "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."
It's unclear why a slot-loading disc drive would prevent a vertical orientation; early versions of the PS3 and the upcoming PS4 have slot-loaded drives and appear to operate fine vertically.
After the quality issues surrounding the earlier models of the Xbox 360, it's no surprise that Microsoft is taking special care of the Xbox One. The company said that the Xbox One will be able to adjust itself to avoid overheating and is confident that it won't be having any quality issues.