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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 9, 2007 at 2:07 PM

The Xbox 365 approaches, slowly

Dean Takahashi said Microsoft is finally testing the smaller, cooler 65 nanometer chips that have been expected for years.

Maybe the new chips are part of Peter Moore’s keynote at the E3 game conference tomorrow. Some think a price cut is also coming, so maybe he’ll be pitching smaller chips, smaller prices and the bigger warranty.

But I wouldn’t think he’d say much about the hardware code-name that Dean dropped — Falcon — since it’s already a brand used by other game machines.

Dean speculated the new machines will be available this fall, which is a safe guess. Microsoft said last week that it has re-engineered the consoles, 65 nanometer chips for the Xbox were due by May and Microsoft said in January that the Xbox line would be refreshed with new IPTV capabilities by the 2007 holiday season.

The chip manufacturers said last year that they’d start producing the 65 nanometer chips for the Xbox in the first quarter of 2007. Here’s an April 2006 story with more details.

What’s interesting is the timing. Are the retooling costs hidden in the $1 billion red ring of death writedown announced last week? The migration to smaller chips was planned, so that doesn’t seem like it should go into the extraordinary writedown category.

Also, what took so long to upgrade to the new chips?

Was Microsoft waiting for chip producers, or was it holding back on the next iteration because it wasn’t meeting its version one sales targets?

P.S. I don’t know if they’ll call the updated consoles 365s, after the chips, like Ferraris named after their engine displacement. I just made that up.

Comments | Topics: Games & entertainment, Microsoft

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