Some truly massive rumours surrounding the Xbox One have hit the internet over the last 24 hours, ostensibly outing Microsoft's plan to release a cheaper Xbox One model before the end of 2014 - with the intention of giving the PS4 a run for its money in a less-than-figurative sense.
Throwing fuel on the fire, Microsoft are reportedly trying to bring their legal eagles to bear on the source, while several major outlets are lining up with corroboration of their own. It could be absolute tosh, of course, but there's an interesting discussion to be had here regarding the console's hefty RRP.
The rumours originally popped up on NeoGAF (where else?), ostensibly originating from Microsoft-employee-turned-tipster ntkrnl. Beyond suggesting that a new Xbox One firmware update is scheduled for March, Halo 2 is getting an Anniversary Edition and Crackdown 3 is looking at a 2016 release window, the leaker claims that Microsoft are readying at least one new Xbox One console model for launch this year. Apparently a white version is scheduled to hit shelves alongside Sunset Overdrive in October packing a 1TB hard drive, perhaps accompanied by a price cut for the original Xbox One.
A significantly cheaper model has also been rumoured, though it's currently unclear whether this refers to the white unit or an entirely new SKU.
Microsoft could cut costs by cutting out the Blu-Ray drive, backed up by The Verge, who claims that the company has been testing a disc-free model. VG247 has also heard from a "senior publishing source" who confirms that Microsoft will release a cheaper console this year, and lower the price of the existing model to "rival the PlayStation 4." One easy way to bring the price down would be to remove Kinect from the package, but Microsoft has so far bullishly squashed any notions of doing so, since it would effectively crush the peripheral's chances in the long-term.
Kotaku alleges that Microsoft are already seeking to identify and prosecute the tipster, which is somewhat suggestive. Though, as always, please remember that these rumours are - by definition - rumours, and thus should be swallowed with a pinch of salt.
At £429.99, the Xbox One is certainly a pricey proposition, a factor that many gamers still find a barrier to entry. Would you buy an Xbox One if it was cheaper, or do you feel that it's already value for money?