For all the accomplishments that Microsoft realized with the Xbox 360, the console will (at least in part) forever be remembered for the massive number of hardware failures that plagued the original models. The platform holder seems to have learned a lesson from the “Red Ring of Death” disaster though, as they are claiming to have designed the Xbox One with the ability to self-correct before it goes up in flames.
Speaking to Gizmodo, Xbox’s General Manager of Console Development Leo del Castillo revealed two tools that the Xbox One can use to prevent heat related hardware failures.
“We can’t prevent misuse of the product but we can certainly anticipate it. The way we designed the box, we don’t actually intend it to ever have to go to maximum [fan] speed under normal environmental conditions. But there is overhead. So we’ll allow the fan to go all the way up to its maximum speed and if that solves the condition without the user having to do anything.”
“One thing that we have more flexibility with… the architecture of the Xbox One, is that we can dial back the power of the box considerably. We had a little less flexibility with the 360. And so basically, if we couldn’t dissipate the heat, there wasn’t a whole lot of leverage we could pull to keep the heat from being generated, so we had a limited amount of time before it just shut down. Xbox One can actually dial it back to a lower power state, so low in fact that it can in a mode that uses virtually no air flow.”
Basically, the Xbox One will adjust its temperature in a similar manner to a PC.
Hopefully, all of these features work as advertised and the Xbox One can avoid the overheating problems of its successor. Nobody expects day-one hardware to be perfect, but turning into a brick is not something that I consider to be an acceptable kink that still needs to be worked out.