Focus Enhancements, a company which supplies specialist video chips for the Xbox, has received the first order for its components from Microsoft - indicating that the software giant is expecting sales of the console to pick up.
The company has received a production order for the FS454 chip, initially selected by Microsoft last year as a cost-cutting measure for the Xbox, and expects to begin shipping units of it in the third quarter of this year - plenty of time for Microsoft to assemble the chips into Xbox units for the seasonal sales period.
Many commentators have leaped on this as evidence of renewed confidence in sales of the Xbox on Microsoft's part. When the company stalled component orders earlier this year, it was seen as a negative indicator of the console's performance.
One slightly more out-there rumour, however, is that the chips will in fact be used in a redesigned, more low-profile Xbox. Many had expected such a unit to debut at E3, but no mention of it was made; the rumours continue to persist, however, with the belief that Microsoft will introduce such a system in time for Christmas being surprisingly prevalent.