Thanks to an unspecified Chinese source, Gizmodo got their hands on a picture of what is alleged to be the new motherboard for the Xbox 360.
Leaks of this nature have occurred before, and have turned out to be nothing but wisps of conjecture based solely on proof of concept designs that never came to fruition.
Here is said picture:
This picture, however, may yet turn out to be a little more legitimate: Ignoring the fact that this nameless Chinese source is as ambiguous as news sources come, the Xbox-branding on the central chip (most likely north-bridge) of the board adds legitimacy. The back-plate I/O ports would seem to fit the existing console’s required number of cables, not to mention ape the current layout almost perfectly. However, there do seem to be an awful lot of unused pins in this design — which, although quite common in universal motherboard designs for Home PC enthusiasts, are suspicious by their appearance on a console that will not have any need of further expansion. That being said, the current Xbox 360’s motherboard has some serious verticality in it’s design. So this could just be a bare-bones picture of the board, prior to adding memory apertures and things of that nature.
Of special note is the size of this board’s design, and the appearance of just one large heat-sink and fan. The single heat-sink and fan obviously allude to a single chip for both the IBM processor and the ATI graphics chip. Though the prospect of the two companies combining their architectures is a little unlikely, if anyone can get them to work together, it’s Microsoft.
The board’s reduced footprint could very well mean one of two things: substantially improved airflow and cooling capabilities in the existing 360 chassis, or more interestingly, an Xbox 360 “slim” is in the works.
As an avid fan of all things gaming, I’m particularly interested in seeing a 360 slim. The Xbox 360 is over 5 years old now, and it is high time Microsoft to considered reinventing the 360’s image — free from RROD’s and E74 errors — and springboard it off of the back of Project Natal.
Let’s throw this out to the masses: Are you tired of your monstrous, five-year-old Xbox 360, wheezing ungracefully next to your PlayStation Slim? Would you welcome a redesign? Do you even think this pic is legit? Sound off!