Xbox One will self-adjust when overheating
Similar to feature in some PCs
The Xbox One comes equip with a new feature that should help prevent the system from overheating. Unlike the Xbox 360, that would just shut off if it ever got too hot due to the vents being covered or anything else, the Xbox One automatically adjusts itself when the console begins to overheat.
In a talk with Gizmodo, Xbox’s General Manager of Console Development Leo del Castillo explained that while they can’t prevent misuse of the Xbox One, they have attempted to anticipate it. The console will know what temperature it is running at, and be able to cool itself down if need be. Castillo said that they don’t ever intend for the console to run at maximum speeds under normal environmental conditions, but there is overhead to help in the case it happened. This pretty much means that the fan has the capacity to go all the way to maximum speed to try and solve the problem without the user having to do anything with the console.
Another option is that the Xbox One can turn down its power usage, to where it’s essentially using next to no power when it became to get too hot. This prevents any true damage being done to the console, such as melting the plastic body or causing of any critical overheating errors. However, this will lessen the system’s performance at the time it lowers its power usage. Castillo did not specify if this would be an available option in games, or just in other functions of the console such as apps or watching movies.
If these options do not work in fixing the issue, Castillo says that there is a mechanism in the interface to help deal with that, which likely means an on-screen pop-up warning you to turn off your console. He believes that the user will likely hear the fan moving at maximum speed and that will get them to check out the problem before it goes that far anyways.
The Xbox One will be released this November.