Microsoft could soon launch a smaller-sized, cheaper Xbox One gaming console. The speculation comes after chip maker AMD developed a smaller, cooler, and cheaper version of the CPU found inside the Xbox One console, as mentioned in a LinkedIn account of AMD’s senior manager of SOC.
The current generation Xbox One console is made of 28nm processors - which means that each transistor measures 28th thousand-millionth of a metre. According to the executive, the company has "successfully planned and executed the first APU for Microsoft's Xbox One Game Console in 28nm technology and a cost-reduced derivative in 20nm technology."
The new processor could be as much as 30 percent more powerful while consuming 25 percent less energy. As far as the size of the processor is concerned, the Xbox One would be 1.9 times smaller than the previous generation. The smaller form factor would also require smaller cooling assembly and a thinner chassis to go along it. This could simply translate to lower-priced device.
If Microsoft does indeed decide to upgrade the device, it would also want to go with either DDR4 or LPDDR3 RAM, as both consume lower-voltage while being more performance efficient. However, transition to go with either of these will require a considerable engineering effort.
But how soon can we see these devices in production? The production timeline is one of the major issues. TSMC, the Taiwanese manufacturer, makes processors for Apple devices as well. As per numerous reports, the manufacturer is currently busy with making A8 and A8X processors for new iPhones and iPad Air 2. And right after it, Nvidia and AMD are lined up for their share of processors for the next generation PCs.
A smaller, more performance efficient, cooler and -- critically -- a cheaper Xbox One would help Microsoft to be in a better position to compete with rival Sony’s PlayStation 4. Microsoft recently started selling the console in several more regions including China, where the console has received overwhelming response. A cheaper Xbox One could help it enter into more emerging markets.