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Xbox Series X could be getting a hidden upgrade

Xbox Series X on wooden table.
(Image credit: Alex Van Aken | Shutterstock)

An Xbox Series X hardware upgrade could be on the way, although we may not know when it happens.

This is according to journalist Brad Sams, who in response to a viewer question about an Xbox Series X update in one of his recent videos (skip to 25:35), said that there may soon be a new Series X model with "a smaller, more power-efficient chip."

Sams said he knows for sure that Microsoft has been working on revisions of the chip since revisions are being developed all the time, and the tech running the Series X was already at least a year old when it first shipped. 

However, he added that he didn't know when it would arrive, who was manufacturing the chip and that he didn't believe the new chip would come with a boost to the console's power or give it new features. So if this chip does arrive, efficiency gains are all we're apparently getting.

Microsoft making updates to the Xbox's internal workings is not surprising. No doubt it's already working on a mid-life refresh for the console, similar to how the Xbox One S and Xbox One X appeared in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and more efficient hardware will be part of that. We've already heard rumors of a PS5 Pro, so Microsoft is likely to be working on upgrades of its own.

However, as Sams said, this new chip could just be swapped into the current model with little to no fanfare. We saw this recently when Sony decided to swap out the original PS5 heatsink with a new, smaller version. The model number changed but otherwise, the console was the same PS5 we already knew, and it was sold as such too. Microsoft's done this too with small updates to the Xbox One before the Series S and X models arrived.

Arguably Microsoft's greater problem right now isn't the Xbox's power efficiency but the ongoing shortage of Xbox units. If you're currently struggling to buy one, remember to check out our Xbox Series X restock update and PS5 restock update pages to see where and how to get these elusive consoles.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.