According to IndustryGamers, it's a tossup whether Microsoft will invest the time and revenue in refreshing the overall Xbox 360 design to reflect a "slim" look. The survey stems from the announcement that Sony's PlayStation 3 Slim is about to hit store shelves (August 26), however it's important to remember that Microsoft did not take the "slim" avenue with the original Xbox despite Sony's re-mastering of the PlayStation 2.
"I think it is a question of when not if," said David Cole of the DFC Intelligence. "However, the when part is a big uncertainty...rumors have been going on for a long time. I think people were asking me the same question last year at this time." Cole believes that Project Natal will have an impact on the overall decision to slim down the Xbox 360. Even still, the company said that there is an anticipated major redesign in sight for 2010.
Other analysts chimed in with their feedback, most of which also tune in to Project Natal as Microsoft's next big change. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan doesn't think a slim version is even in the forecast. "They had a redesign to eliminate the RROD issue, changed the heat sink, fan and a couple of other components. I'm not sure that they need to redesign the box, although I see the Elite black box becoming the standard."
Jesse Divnich of EEDAR said that reducing the size of the Xbox 360 would provide financial benefits for the manufacturer by decreasing shipping costs, packaging material, and more. However, a redesigned model may mislead consumers into thinking the hardware problems have been resolved.
"Throw in some physical alterations to the design of the Xbox 360 (i.e. making it smaller) and consumers are more likely to believe that their new Xbox 360 is 'more reliable'," Divnich said. "Consumers are more apt to believe a change has occurred if they can physically see a difference, even if the physical difference (in this case, the size of the Xbox 360) has nothing to do with the failure rate of the console."