The Xbox One may be comparatively large and subjectively ugly, but at least it's easy to repair. iFixit has torn apart the new console, and like the PlayStation 4, it scores marks for its modular design.
iFixit's teardown of the Xbox One, over 22 pain-staking steps and 41 photos, shows a next-generation game console that is impressively modular. The hard-to-remove hard drive is iFixit's key pain point, in contrast to Sony's equally easily disassembled PlayStation 4.
Once opened up, the Xbox One is revealed to be a relatively straightforward device. The Blu-ray drive connects to the main circuit board with a standard SATA connector and is a relatively standardised unit. A large, modular fan and heatsink keep the Xbox One cool while running silently; this will come as good news to any Xbox 360 owners whose consoles have overheated in the past.
The hard drive in the Xbox One is not officially replaceable, and accessing it will void the system's warranty, but the console uses a regular 2.5-inch 5400RPM SATA II hard drive from Samsung. It's not clear whether the drive could be replaced with a faster SATA III or SSD disk; doing so with a PS4 increases game loading times by up to 25 per cent, although at a significant extra cost.
On the Xbox One's motherboard, everything is as expected: iFixit shows an AMD Jaguar octa-core CPU and integrated Radeon GPU (in a single system on chip), 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of flash storage (presumably for temporary high-speed storage of game assets), a southbridge for interacting with storage, Wi-Fi, the Kinect and other peripherals, and networking and power switching circuitry.
iFixit bestows a score of eight out of 10 on the Xbox One for its generally accessible, modular nature. This should mean comparatively cheap, simple and quick repairs for the console's lifespan, especially as components become cheaper. The PlayStation 4 also scores eight out of 10, although it is significantly more compact, which may mean more difficult maintenance — apart from the user-replaceable hard drive.
The Xbox One launched at midnight last night to thousands of keen gamers across Australia; EB Games' national brand, event and engagement manager Debra McGrath said that it was the biggest launch in Australian gaming history. The AU$599 console is expected to sell out in the next few days until extra stock arrives.