An upgraded Xbox Series X console could be incoming that is geared towards improving the flagship console's efficiency and cooling.
The rumor, which to be very clear is 100 per cent unverified and unofficial right now, comes from journalist Brad Sams, who has a long history of reporting on Microsoft and its products.
Sams dropped the next-gen info nugget when replying to a viewer's question on his YouTube channel. When asked if a Xbox Series X hardware revision was incoming, Sams stated that (opens in new tab), "I believe it is accurate that Microsoft is working on a smaller, more power-efficient chip. I’m very confident in that."
As to what this new chip will improve, Sams was clear that in his mind Xbox Series X gamers wouldn't see a gaming performance improvement, but that the new hardware would help the console run cooler and more efficiently, as well as likely saving Microsoft money in terms of production.
"Now, are we going to see performance improvements, are we going to see anything else? I do not believe so. But Microsoft is always working on making cooler, more efficient chips because that lowers the cost of production," noted Sams.
So hardly Xbox Series Z, then...
Sams seems to have heard at some point that Microsoft is revising its Xbox hardware, or is making an educated guess that the firm is, as it always looks to revise key hardware.
This makes sense. The Xbox Series X design and hardware was likely signed off 18 months before it hit store shelves, which means that right now in 2022 it is already over 3 years old. A revised console design that costs less to make and runs more efficiently and cooler therefore makes perfect sense.
And, while we're quite sure Microsoft will release a new flagship Xbox console this generation that improves on the Xbox Series X's core gaming power, as its history of console production suggests (just look at the Xbox One X, for example), now doesn't make sense for that to happen.
We've arguably not seen anywhere near the true potential of the Xbox Series X tapped into by game developers yet, so it would be crazy for an Xbox Series Z-style console with even bigger power to be released. A quiet hardware revision that improves things for everyone does, though.
Sams relays no concrete information as to when and if this Xbox Series X hardware revision will hit store shelves, but if we were to make an educated guess, we'd expect it to be later on this year in advance of the 2022 winter holiday season.