Right now, with 13 and a half million units sold, Sony is “winning” the next-gen console war. Microsoft is slowly, slowly fighting back, and won’t win it on its exclusives alone. As the Redmond company’s already seen, the only way it’ll win is on price. One thing that’ll certainly help on that front is a newer, cheaper SKU – which certainly helped Sony with the Playstation3 in the last generation. It looks like Microsoft is already working on it.
According to Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry (via B3D), chipmaker AMD has already developed a smaller, 20nm version of the Xbox One’s core processor. Smaller, more efficient and cheaper to produce, it paves the way for a slimmer and cooler – and most importantly, cheaper – Xbox One. The news comes via the Linkedin page of AMD’s senior manager of System on a chip physical design. According to his bio, Daniel McConnell “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 same bio says that McConnel “Assembled and grew two cross-site execution teams for 2 successive XBOX APU revisions. This included developing key technical leads into senior positions allowing for successful execution and future team expansion to handle more SOCs.”
What this all means is that Microsoft is likely already well in to designing their smaller, slimmer Xbox One – though it’s unlikely we’ll see one really soon. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the factory that actually manufactures the chips will likely have its 20nm plants very busy making new chips for iPhones, and iPads, as well as Nvidia and AMD’s Desktop GPUs.
I’m aching to get my hands on an Xbox One, because I have unchecked, silly technolust – but I think it would be wise to wait for a newer, cheaper one. Right now, a few exclusives aside, I just don’t see the point of owning both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. That will probably change when we start seeing more must-have exclusives from either camp.
Last Updated: November 3, 2014