The Xbox One will get more affordable thanks to a new processor

Xbox One and its gamepad

Microsoft may have already cut the Xbox One's price to $349 for the holidays, but there are hints that the game console may get a permanent price drop before too long. An AMD chip design manager recently updated his LinkedIn resume (since made private) with word that he worked on a more efficient, "cost-reduced" version of the Xbox One's processor. There aren't any clues as to when this spruced-up silicon will arrive, but recent AMD roadmap leaks suggest that its first CPU architecture based on the technology will ship in 2015. In other words, you could be buying a cheaper Xbox by this time next year.

Processor upgrades are nothing new in the console world. They're crucial for both price cuts and smaller, cooler-running systems that aren't so noisy. However, there's added urgency this time around -- the PlayStation 4 has been outselling the Xbox One due in part to its initial price advantage, and lower prices should both help Microsoft stay competitive and leave more money in your wallet.