Over at NeoGAF, a user going by ntkrnl has revealed that Microsoft has plans to release a redesigned Xbox One, and a cornucopia of other details. The source states the Microsoft will be releasing a White XBO to coincide with the launch of the title Sunset Overdrive in October. Then in November, a 1TB version of the XBO. He also stated a cheaper, possibly discless system without a Blu-ray drive or Bluetooth adapter is coming as well. This wont be the first time Microsoft has attempted to improve the XBO or improve sales by removing features from the system. He also states a limited edition Titanfall Edition of the system will be launching as well, even leaking mockups of the console as well.
An entire redesign to the console in the first year is definitely uncharacteristic for new hardware. In fact, unprecedented. Why would a veteran console manufacturer release redesigned,revamped and cheaper systems less than a year after their major entry into the next generation? Marketshare. Microsoft is not just losing the war for users in this generation of consoles. They are losing it spectacularly. With the PS4 outselling the XBO 1.5:1 in the UK and almost 2:1 overall in worldwide sales, they have a great deal of catching up to do. In addition, the PS4 is preparing to launch in it's home territory, where it's strongest user base is, Japan, only making things worse for Microsoft.
Speculation as to the authenticity of the leakers claims abound, however, numerous aspects of his claims have been verified around the internet. Internet site The Verge has been able to verify that while their is no proof that MS will be launching the disc-less XBO, Microsoft has indeed been testing out a disc-less version of the XBO hardware. VG247 has a source that has confirmed that a cheaper model of the XBO is on the way for 2014, though no word on whether this version will be without the Blu-ray drive. Lending even more credibility to the legitimacy of ntkrnl's leaks, a source at Kotaku has also confirmed the Microsoft's legal department is investigating an d attempting to obtain the identity of the user, in order to take legal action against him.
The bumbling surrounding the launch of the XBO has been ongoing since before the launch itself. With Microsoft's elitist insults towards customers without internet, to MS's complete 180 on the internet requirement, the Kinect is no longer mandatory, and the changes to attempt to wring more power out of the processor. Seeing such efforts from Microsoft to revamp, improve and make the XBO more marketable to boost sales is definitely a sign the company is struggling to close the gap between XBO and PS4. Especially with measures as drastic as a complete redesign in the first year. This in it's own right lends legitimacy to my previous comments on the state of affairs for the current console war. I have received a few emails lately regarding my coverage and articles related to the current console race, in particular relating to the light I paint the Xbox One in. I love Microsoft. They do amazing work. The Xbox One is an amazing system. But they still make mistakes. And even with the Xbox One managing to save the company bottom line in the wake of Windows 8's poor sales, the system is still struggling to keep up. Even with less powerful hardware than the PS4 and the PS4's commanding sales lead and higher demand, The XBO may still wind up being a powerhouse of this console generation. Time will tell...