Is this the end for the Xbox 360's woes?

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While the console race has been a close and interesting one to follow, it seems like Microsoft may be whipping a card out of it’s sleeve that may just give them a big advantage.

The sickening thing about this whole story is that it’s an advantage that is going to be obtained by making their console reach a standard of quality that should have already been there all along.

Is there a bright future ahead for the Xbox 360, or are we just being setup for even more disappointments from Microsoft?

The problem is obviously that Microsoft released a console that was flawed from the start and even though they were in the knowledge of those flaws, decided to release it anyway. It was good to see that Microsoft landed up paying for their underhanded tricks in the long run, with the need to extend RROD warranties for a problem that really shouldn’t have been there from the start.

Usually I don’t enjoy seeing anyone suffer for no reason but they deserved it because at the end of the day it was always the consumer paying the price for a lazy design job and some underhanded business tactics.

Many of the issues with the Xbox 360 may now be coming to an end with the latest batch of Xbox 360’s to leave the factory and if a decent job was actually done this time around, we may see the era of problematic Xbox 360 consoles actually come to an end.

While the major change to the console is coming later in the post, I found something rather interesting about the new consoles that I want to talk about first.

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The new consoles have had their internal memory pushed up from 16MB to 256MB, meaning that the console will now be able to store the NXE dashboard without the use of a hard drive. This means that arcade users will now be able to have the NXE on their consoles without the need to make any extra purchases.

The internal memory, while not of much use for other functions is at least big enough that it can now carry the NXE and still have a little bit of space left for a few small Xbox Live Arcade games.

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While the change isn’t entirely revolutionary it is a welcome addition for all of the consumers who are going to be looking at buying an Arcade unit. The next design change, is however looking to be a big step forward in the future of the flawed console.

According to a recent article on Neoseeker, the latest batch of Xbox 360’s to come out of the factories are now packing what is called the “Jasper” chipset, which now has a reduced 65nm graphics chip as well as what has now also been revealed as a lower power requirement. The new components should fix all of the issues that have been causing the RROD, meaning that this console may actually start behaving.

All consoles produced after October 23, 2008 now have this new chipset and if all goes well with the new design then we may see the end of the Red Ring of Death as we know it.

While many of you may already be clued in about the Jasper, a new piece of information has come to light with regards to identifying if an Xbox 360 console is a Jasper or not.

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The major issue is that you can’t actually tell without opening the box in the store. To help identify a Jasper console, you can check the powerbrick for the new and lower power requirement of 150W. How you are going to talk the store clerk into letting you open up the box will be entirely up to you.

Will the new chipset mean that consumers in future will no longer need to deal with the terrible woes that have plagued so many gamers in the last few years or are we only being set up for even more disappointment from a lazy design team?

Time will have to tell on this one but if Microsoft have actually done a decent job then them and us could possibly looking at a much smoother future for the console and one that should have been there from the start.

Last Updated: December 1, 2008

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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