Every new technologically heralded device that hits the market seems to bring with it one infamous irk. With the nano complaints were made about the ease with which it could be scratched, with Core Duo laptops it is battery life and with the Xbox 360 it is heat generation. At least in the case of the latter, however, a fix is on the way.
From early next year all Xbox 360 CPU’s will be upgraded from 90nm fabbed chips to 65nm ones. The knock-on effect will be a lot less heat coupled with reduced power consumption, though the actual performance of the Xbox 360 is unlikely to be altered as it would create an uneasy hierarchy at a very early point in the console’s lifespan. That said, die shrinks reduce production costs so the arrival of 65nm Xbox 360s will likely correspond with a price cut (handy considering the PS3 will be hitting the market around the same time).
So common sense prevails, but perhaps the most surprising element to this announcement is the eight month wait until it happens. In the US (where else?) a number of lawsuits have been filed against Microsoft by customers angry that their next gen consoles overheated. Gates’ boys have always maintained these incidents were few and far between so perhaps not rushing out a fix as soon as 65nm chips arrive is in some way a validation of this?
Either that or Microsoft is just waiting to pick one hell of a fight with Sony…