The Xbox One might finally receive a hardware revision this year. A slim version of the console is rumored to have entered mass production this past February, setting the stage for a much smaller and lighter piece of hardware. The possibility of upgraded hardware to make the much-discussed Xbox 1.5 does not appear to be there, however.
A Chinese document leaked on the NEOGaf forums shows what essentially translates to the Xbox One II. This basically is referring to the hardware as the second revision or second generation of the console.
The document also shows the project to shrink the Xbox One began in 2014 with mass production of the hardware beginning in February 2016. It appears the manufacturer plans to produce approximately 400,000 units per week. That would give Microsoft around 5 million units to push into retail channels by the time E3 2016 rolls around in June.
Another interesting aspect of the document reveals just how slim Microsoft is making the Xbox One revision. The document lists a weight between 600 and 800 grams. That puts the revised console down to just under two pounds if true, which would be an amazing accomplishment. The Xbox One currently weighs in at a hefty 7.8 pounds.
It’s important to remember Microsoft intentionally made the Xbox One with plenty of breathable space. It wanted to avoid the heat issues the launch version of the Xbox 360 experienced that led to the infamous Red Ring of Death (RROD). This resulted in a larger than expected console, from a consumer standpoint. However, it provided stability for the Xbox One at launch and a generous amount of space and material to cut down.
It’s hard to tell if the Xbox One is moving to a smaller chipset with this rumored revision. There’s nothing in the listing that would indicate that. AMD’s recent financial earnings call tells a different tale, though. The computer processor manufacturer announced it first quarter financial results last week where it revealed (via Seeking Alpha) it had new semi-custom CPU designs to grow based on new business in the second half of the year. The Xbox One and PS4 both use the manufacturer’s chips with the Nintendo NX expected to use a semi-custom design as well.
While a side benefit to an Xbox One Slim would be reduced power consumption and possibly an even quieter console, the main draw will be reduced costs for Microsoft. This should translate to an even cheaper price heading into the 2016 holiday shopping season or afterwards.
Microsoft has already made the move to discount Xbox One bundles to $300 a couple of times in the last few months. Another promotion just started this past weekend.
Reducing the price of the Xbox One faster than the PlayStation 4 is going to be an important maneuver for Microsoft as Sony’s console continues to trounce it in sales this generation.
Rumors of the PlayStation 4.5 Neo with a slightly faster CPU and much faster graphics chipset is still rumored strongly. Microsoft appears to not have a competing offering based on this revision, which merely reduces the size of the console.
It is worth noting Xbox Head Phil Spencer recently stated in an interview with GameSpot, “I’m not a big fan of Xbox One and a half. If we’re going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers…”
“…For us, our box is doing well. It performs, it’s reliable, the servers are doing well. If we’re going to go forward with anything, like I said, I want it to be a really substantial change for people–an upgrade.”
What do you think about the potential of an Xbox One Slim? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Xbox, modifed]