“Slim” versions of gaming consoles have become a must: manufacturers like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have in fact used us to the launch of revised editions of their consoles in a matter of three or four years from the original day one. Those slim versions help the platform holders maintain their consoles for a longer period on the market, with a minimum expense or even a good saving.
With Xbox 360, for example, Microsoft has been able to bring the motherboard’s production process from 90nm (2005) to 45nm (2010): this allowed to have a smaller console with a much prettier design, while saving both in the manufacturing stage and in gamers’ homes (the latest version of Xbox 360 has almost half the power consumption of 2005’s, 198W).
While those revisions were almost entirely appreciated by critics and public, we are pretty far away from the smart-phone and tablet models, where each release means improvements regarding design and specifics. None of the big three platform holders, in fact, has ever tried to follow this path and probably they won’t do it during this generation, too: especially Microsoft and Sony need standards to offer to developers and retail partners, some kind of security that the investment on dev kits (learning to use them, apart from the expense) and consoles will be respected for a relatively long time frame. Nintendo seems to be a bit ahead on this matter and showed a good degree of confidence in launching New Nintendo 3DS, substantially a 3DS that has been enhanced in graphics terms and controls, and will count on exclusive games or features in the coming months.
I have been talking Xbox One Slim today with Gamepur’s Sehran Shaikh, thinking about some of the features that Microsoft could include in the new model once it ships, I believe, in 2017. Here you have the answers I have come to, but don’t forget to add yours in the comments section below.
Xbox One absolutely needs a new design. Let’s be clear, PS4’s doesn’t shine but Xbox One’s pretty uncommon for a modern gaming console. It’s pretty functional respecting the initial vision of Don Mattrick, that meant Xbox One as the center of the living room, a machine good for almost everything, from watching TV (HDMI input door would be removed) to playing family games. It doesn’t feel like it works for Phil Spencer’s new deal, especially now that Kinect is out of the main bundles.
A TOUCH OF GREEN
Talking about Phil Spencer’s new deal, Xbox One Slim would represent tout-court his philosophy that puts games and gamers first. Xbox’s color is green and putting it somewhere in the new console’s design, I don’t know where and technically how, would be a signal of Microsoft respecting and paying homage to those people who care about games and Xbox since its first iteration. A dark green led would be appreciated, even though not that classy.
INTERNAL POWER SUPPLY
Even though it’s pretty refined, Xbox One’s external power supply looks a bit out of time. We’re in 2015, after all, and Sony got rid of those ugly and bulky devices years ago. It could be a risky maneuver in case the power supply gets damaged someway, but I think that some good engineering work, connected with smart design solutions, could fix this too.
Rumors about Microsoft engineering new Xbox One controllers have been around for some time and, after GDC 2015, someone is betting on their unveil at E3 2015. Xbox One controllers are good as they are but something could still be improved, like the bumpers and the d-pad, or added, like a share button instead of one of the old “Back”, so it is probable that a revamped edition would debut with Xbox One Slim.
WIRELESS CHARGER FOR CONTROLLERS
Do you remember the wireless charger for Microsoft’s Lumia? Well, it’s about time Microsoft introduces something like that for Xbox One controllers. I guess they could do it with the same technology using the surface of the console as a charging plate. That would be a true innovation, and could help us get rid of those old-fashioned AA batteries.