Iâ€™m sure everyone is well aware of the issues regarding the 360â€™s internal design shortcomings and the problems that it can cause. Microsoftâ€™s reputation as a console manufacturer has been severely tarnished over recent months after rumours of a 33% hardware failure rate (aye right!) and the following knee jerk reaction to extend the 360â€™s warranty up to 3 years.
Today, word escaped from Asian component manufacturers that Microsoft have accelerated the planning for the redesigned Xbox 360 mainboard. Project â€˜Falconâ€™ as itâ€™s known internally aims to reduce the size of the main console components such as CPU & GPU from the standard 90-nanometer process down to 65-nanometer. Smaller components mean less power is required to drive the console which has the benefit of producing less heat. There is no information available at the moment to suggest the GPU will be moved from itâ€™s current troubled location directly under the DVD-ROM drive.
Another outcome from the redesign, and possibly a more important factor is a reduction in costs. Moving from 90 to 65 nanometer fabrication could in fact reduce component costs by a staggering 50%. A price cut from Microsoft later in 2007 is widely expected and should place the 360 in a good position as we move forward in to the festive season. I would expect to see a cut of around 20% of RRP sometime between September and November when the â€˜Falconâ€™ 360â€™s are set to arrive on store shelves.
Looking a little further ahead, Microsoft are expected to move to a 45-nanometer process which will reduce component size still further. Once this happens, we could expect to see a properly redesigned unit along the same lines as the PSOne and PSTwo released by Sony. Hell, they may even stick the power-brick in side.
Can I take the side off of my 360 to improve cooling? That question is offtopic and this thread is already only 1 post old. The OP.
Looks like not only is a 360 price cut on the way but a total redesign. Rumblings abound that the Halo 360 is not of the new design and thus utterly pointless (ugly as sin too).
Man, 50% cost reduction would mean a price cut is almost certainly on the cards. A big price cut too.