How do you beat the competition in the gaming console business? If you’re Microsoft and you’ve got an Xbox One, the most recent and best answer you might have is cutting costs. They’ve currently got a holiday sale on their Kinect-less Xbox One, knocking the price down by $50. With an Xbox One Slim on the books, they may very well be able to knock it all down another $50 – so we must hypothesize. The tip here comes from a LinkedIn listing which suggests a 20nm chip is on the way.
The listing comes from the LinkedIn bio listing of AMD’s “senior manager of SoC Physical Design”. That’s system-on-chip, aka the processor you’ll find in your Xbox One. This bio suggests that one Daniel McConnell 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.”
Since this reveal appeared on a Beyond3D forum, the segment in McConnell’s biography that mentioned the 20nm chip has disappeared.
UPDATE: Now McConnell’s entire profile has disappeared. Perhaps AMD whisked him away to a dark closet somewhere. Or the Microsoft teamsters. Whichever.
As Eurogamer notes, the current AMD chip inside the Xbox One costs Microsoft somewhere in the area of $50 USD. Cutting that cost down by even 29% means smaller components and cheaper necessaries for several components on the Xbox One’s board.
Microsoft has not spoken about an Xbox One Slim. They will not confirm an Xbox One Slim unless they’re prepared to announce it fully – which wouldn’t be happening any time soon, so you might be better of filing this away for later inside 2015.
An Xbox One Slim would be a real possibility for 2015 once Microsoft has reduced stock of the first wave of Xbox One units. Keep an eye on sales, keep an eye on the Kinect, and make certain you know what you’re getting into when you pick a unit up.