The rumor certainly sounded plausible enough. With Microsoft tipped to reveal the Surface Pro 4, two new Lumia phones, and even a refreshed Microsoft Band at a hardware-centric event in October, whispers of a reimaged Xbox One “mini” began to circulate.
The Xbox One mini would allegedly ditch the console’s Blu-ray drive, which in turn would shed weight, size, and noise. That would bring it more in line with Microsoft’s original online-centric vision for the Xbox One, help it fit more seamlessly into entertainment centers, and heck, maybe even shave some of the price off of the console in the process. New Xbox boss Phil Spencer certainly seems willing to shake things up if need be, slicing the Kinect’s supposedly crucial connection from the Xbox One shortly after assuming the throne.
Too bad none of it’s true. Spencer shut down the rumor with an unusually blunt tweet on Thursday, as first reported by the Verge.
Well, there you go.
Why this matters: Microsoft originally pitched the Xbox One as a killer living room device, designed to be the star of your home entertainment center by blending streaming services, live TV, and games. Between the release of a TV tuner, support for over-the-air DVR, and the ability to stream Xbox One content to Windows 10 devices around your house, the console’s better poised than ever to become a HTPC killer. Unfortunately, $350 is a steep asking price when streaming devices like the Roku and Chromecast sell for well under $100, even if they are less capable than a tricked-out Xbox One.
A cheaper, slimmer Xbox One mini may have appealed to people—maybe Windows Media Center refugees?—interested more in the console’s media capabilities than its gaming chops. Alas.