Keep Your Xbox One Powered On…For The Next 10 Years

A new report out by Eurogamer shares a number of interesting tidbits gathered form sources inside Microsoft.  First, the reason the Xbox One is so large was to ensure the device was extremely reliable and not experience heat related problems as were seen in the Xbox 360; which cost the company over a billion dollars.  Secondly, the device is designed to last at least 10 years and in fact the Xbox can stay powered on during that entire period of time.  Since the device is designed to be always on, it is nearly silent and the low power states help with this quite a bit.  By extrapolating from the sizes of known components (principally the USB port), Eurogamer believes the Xbox One dimensions are approximately 34 x 26 x 8 cm or 13.3 x 10.2 x 3.1 inches.

Wired’s photography of the Xbox One internals shows that airflow won’t be a problem. Clearly some level of investment has gone into the cooling assembly for the AMD processor – the fan seems to be almost as large as the slot-loading Blu-ray drive.  Wired’s internal photography of the Xbox One (above) reveals a decent-quality heat sink (note the copper heat pipes) and a relatively large fan. The larger the blades of the fan, the slower they need to spin in order to displace the same amount of air as a smaller fan, meaning a quieter unit.

The Xbox One is also silent when using its media function and fans only turn on during intense game play.  The AMD processor inside the Xbox One is also more power efficient.  While not quite similar, the AMD 7790 only draws 85W at peak power.  It is believed that Xbox One development units started rolling out to developers early in July and is nearly an exact match of what will go out to retailers for holiday 2013.

The Xbox One software is now in its final testing stages, delayed slightly by changes that needed to be made after a backlash from gamers.  One item still being worked on is increasing the game loading time.

In an internal post-mortem of the Xbox 360 that helped shape the direction of Xbox One, one of the key problems Microsoft engineers wanted to address was the lack of immediacy in current-gen console gameplay, where even the most family-friendly titles can take up to three minutes to load. A key plus point mobile games hold over console is the speed with which casual users can play, and it’s an advantage that next-gen console is going to have trouble competing with.

Despite moving away from optical discs and onto hard drive for games (which also helps with heat), filling up multiple gigs with data is still going to take time. We’re told that addressing load times is a key concern, but another approach is to retain game states in RAM while the unit is inactive, similar to the way that you can return to a PS Vita game days after you last played it. The entire contents of the memory are preserved, and the unit wakes up immediately, allowing you to dive back into the game.

Morale has also been down within the Xbox team.

“Our sources suggest that internally there is a great deal of frustration within Microsoft that the message about instant access never got across, and that the focus now is on Gamescom in August to get it right. Microsoft genuinely believe that the TV integration elements set it apart, and that once you have experienced what it’s capable of you can never go back. Instant restart is a key feature, but in the here and now we can’t help remaining unconvinced about the focus on the TV integration elements of the Xbox One operating system.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can turn around public perception at Gamescom.


  • Haymo

    Even at Gamescon the Xbox One will continue to get beatings because the mindshare of uninformed gamer’s is that the Xbox One is bad for you.
    The Xbox One will only start to show what it can do once it has been released. No marketing can reverse the damage done, what needs to happen is get the Xbox onto gamer’s hands, positive experiences then will spread like fire and hopefully soon the Xbox One will look like the winner in this next-gen console war. Because the Xbox One is the only next-gen console. The PS4 is just a beefier PS3, end of story.

    • NGM123

      They should rename it, “Infinity” as suggested earlier which was a great name…..Xbox Infinity. Drop the crap and now tarnished “One” name and get back in the game with a fresh start prior to release.

      • steveo99

        I think normal gamers will still flock to it. The whole thing got blown out of proportion which only the hardcore nerds care about. In the end it comes down to the games and not a popularity contest.

      • donzebe

        Xbox Infinity for a product that is going to stay connected and running for 10 years.

    • donzebe

      The Xbox One sales may only pickup 3 to 6 months later after it’s release.

      Either Microsoft has a very poor way of communication to the consumers or the medial / analyst are constantly seeking and amplifying Microsoft flaws.

      • jaylyric

        Both parts are very true about MS and the media/analyst,and not just about the One,but seemingly everything MS these days..

        • krayziehustler

          Yes. Everything from Azure to Windows 8 and WP suffer from the negative mindshare on Microsoft. I believe the Xbox was successful because it didn’t have Windows/Microsoft name attached to it.

    • krayziehustler

      I hope MS is now aware that they get scrutinized like no other companies and have to be very careful when they do anything.

      • Haymo

        Totally agree, they can even have the better product, but the media always emphasizes the bad things.

  • peterfares

    10 years? Maybe if it isn’t used a whole lot. I don’t trust hard drives to last 10 years, and this one is not user-replaceable.

    • neva

      I got hard drives with over 20 years in originally DOS computers (some of them have Windows 95 now). They have few MB of memory making them practically useless for the last years so I don’t use them but they do still work. My father’s desktop has been updated several times and now has two hard drives: a new one with the Operating System and the 11 years old hard drive from the original PC with some documents, pictures and old videos working fine. They just look very slow for today’s standards but have about the same speed has they had when new.
      I don’t know how long SSDs last but I actually believe they will last shorter than the old disc hard drives.

  • BIAS

    So it’s actually a hardy gaming rig! Way to go M$. Throw some HALO on it and I’m buying.