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Xbox One knows when it overheats and self-regulates power accordingly

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The architecture of Microsoft's Xbox One will allow the hardware to sense when it becomes overheated and self-regulate its power, according to Xbox's general manager of console development Leo del Castillo in an interview with Gizmodo, which will help minimize detrimental shut-downs caused by overheating.

"One thing that we have more flexibility with the architecture of the Xbox One, is that we can dial back the power of the box considerably," del Castillo told Gizmodo. "We had a little less flexibility with the 360. And so basically, if we couldn't dissipate the heat, there wasn't a whole lot of leverage we could pull to keep the heat from being generated, so we had a limited amount of time before it just shut down. Xbox One can actually dial it back to a lower power state, so low in fact that it can in a mode that uses virtually no air flow."

It wasn't clear from del Castillo if the lower power state will run in games, apps or "other functions," or of the "exact details of how it'll show up to the user."

The Xbox One was also designed so its fan won't go to maximum speed "under normal environmental conditions." This will allow for overhead, according to del Castillo, who said the fan can reach maximum speed when required — such as when Xbox One has compromised air flow — hopefully solving "the condition without the user having to do anything."

del Castillo says that the fan hitting maximum speed will also serve as a warning mechanism in itself, catching the attention of the user who "might notice the extra noise, and that will help to self-correct the condition." If the fan noise fails to attract the users attention, the console will "have the mechanism, the interface, to deal with that."