Much has been said about the power, and necessary – state of the art – cooling units being utilized in the next generation consoles. Both Machines – The Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 – are bigger in size than anything we have seen since the OG Xbox, and it seemed that both ran quietly and in cool fashion, until now.
Two separate journalists from different countries have raised a big red flag regarding the Xbox Series X’s heat emissions. The first tester to complain of this issue is French journalist, Ken Bogard.
Bogard made a video stream – which has been mysteriously taken down since – explaining that unit gets extremely hot,
“The Series X is hot, like really hot! It doesn’t make any noise, but damn it’s hot! The console is emitting heat like crazy. It’s almost like a fireplace shaft. You can heat up your flat with it.” -Ken Bogard (As translated by the VGC)
Bogard’s experience with Microsoft’s new home console was shared by Giant Bomb’s Co-host, Jeff Bakalar,
“Here’s what’s crazy… this (the Xbox Series X) was just plugged in in standby mode behind me and you guys, the entire thing is a little toasty. It seems like in the way like a lot of the other consoles were doing stuff while you were not using them, it seems like this thing might be doing something while you’re not using it, to the point where it needs to exhaust heat.” – Jeff Bakalar
Bakalar even appeared to have burned his hand while touching the console’s storage expansion.
How Factual Are These Reports?
Very trustable. First, it is very difficult to receive a piece of expensive pre-launch hardware in order to playtest it. Working for a big publication, or years of credible work within the gaming community, are almost a prerequisite for having one of these consoles shipped to you by Microsoft (unless you are one of the lucky “influencers”).
So no, I don’t see why Bogard, or Bakalar would lie about something like this, especially when Microsoft in good faith shipped them the Xbox Series X units for review.
So, Are We Approaching Another Red Ring of Death Event with Launch Units?
Unlikely, Microsoft – in a stark contrast to Sony – has shipped hundreds of these units to different outlets. If there was an overheating issue, Microsoft would have not done this so willingly. The company clearly trusts the Xbox Series X and its design.
The heating issues while the unit is ‘off’ or in standby mode are not uncommon with Microsoft machines. My Xbox One X’s gets unusually warm while on ‘off’ mode. It seems that Microsoft’s machines keep updating and perhaps working in some capacity even while off (as long as it is plugged into an outlet).
I would be more concerned about the memory expansion overheating. Those expansion cards are rumored to cost around $200 dollars. While the console might not die, if the fans are pushing the heat out in that direction it might ruin expansion cards and that would be a very costly venture for potential customers.
So, Should We Expect Heating Issues With The Xbox Series X?
Right now, I would venture to guess that the answer is a cautious no. Hundreds of consoles have been sent out, and only two journalists have complained about it. These two journalists might have gotten faulty units, and while the systems have been tested utilizing old games (no Xbox Series X games are available as of now), I do not expect this to be a widespread issue.
It has to be said, that these pre-launch systems are labeled as “prototypes”, and as such, it is difficult to gauge if they have inherent issues that have already been corrected for the retail units.
So, considering that the numbers favor Microsoft (More than 100 units are out and being tested, only two have reported any heating issues), I do not expect another Red Ring of Death like issue affecting Microsoft’s newest console.