With rumors are swirling we take a stab at what a new 360 might consist of.
1. Disc Trays Are So 2005
The first thing we'd replace on the Xbox 360 console is the disc tray. While there hasn't been any word on this part of the hardware changing, it just makes sense. Both of Microsoft's competitors use slot loading and it makes the console feel a lot more compact, contained, and less clunky.
2. The Motherboard Redesign
We've kept you abreast of the supposed motherboard photo leak, but what does this mean to the consumer? Well, with the CPU and the GPU combined onto one chip there's less heat generated and the opportunity to rearrange the insides a bit. If Microsoft were cautious with a redesign they might keep the current hard drive compatible by leaving the length and the width untouched. Then you'd get something like a 360 short. Sorry, but you'd still have to buy new faceplates!
3. Slim is Better than Short
While a "short" design is certainly possible, it's also kind of lame. We're going to go with a slimmer design that starts out by removing a good chunk from both sides of the console. Our mock-up is a pretty extreme representation of a very thin profile with all buttons removed.
4. The Ring of Death
So can we all agree that the ring of light now has a bit of a negative association with the hardware? We think the best move would be to remove the ring completely. If it could somehow be combined with the IR sensor this would clean up the face a bit. We also rotated the USB ports to fit the slim design. However, keep in mind that each Xbox 360 controller already indicates if it is activated so you could remove the rings completely and move the "on" light so it surrounds the disc slot. Just like the Wii! Hey, let's throw in built-in a wireless network card while we're at it.
In our first design we had the ring of light project from the top of the console. That way the three red lights can act as a bat signal to notify Microsoft repair crews from miles away.
5. A Hard Bargain
Another recent story about 360 hardware indicated that coming with the Spring update next year is the ability to use any USB storage device to load and save data. This could mean that the 360 Slim will have an internal hard drive, supplemented by external drives, making it even more sleek and symmetrical. It also cancels out the memory card slots completely. Keep in mind, that we're guessing there will still be an external power brick resembling the size of the unit outlined at the top of this article.
Finally we decided to mesh the IR sensor and the player indicator lights into a version of the old IGN logo. Would you like to see a slimmed down version of Xbox 360 unveiled at this year's E3? What features should it have and how small should it be?