They made the right choice.
The Xbox One X is the most powerful console ever made- but stunningly, it is also the smallest Xbox ever made, smaller than the Xbox 360 Slim or 360 Elite, and smaller than the Xbox One S as well. Microsoft achieving this is a testament to their engineering skill- but could they realistically have gone any smaller?
Speaking to Wired, Microsoft’s Albert Penello said that while it would have been possible, it would have made the console far noisier than Microsoft was willing to accept. “I think for us to have gotten any smaller than this it might have compromised on noise. That’s the other variable out there, we didn’t want this thing to get significantly louder than the Xbox One S,” Penello mused. “That’s the other dimension that we have to work with in a typical living room. I think people will be impressed with the sound level – it will be a little bit louder at full tilt when you’re running really taxing games at 4K 60fps, but for every other usage case it’s as quiet as an Xbox One S.”
Which sounds like a reasonable trade-off- small is good, but you also don’t want your console to sound like it’s a plane about to take off. Looking at the slick design of Xbox One X, it’s hard to see how Microsoft might have done any better, especially given how massive the significantly less powerful PS4 Pro is.