They released an upgraded version of their existing platform, same as PS4 Pro. And, yes, I do think that that's entirely possible if they keep getting their ass handed to them in weekly sales and keep lacking exclusive heavy hitters. Nintendo released the Wii U before the competition when Wii sales tanked, even coming from a market leading position and still showing somewhat good sales of 1st party software. They also had the handheld division to lean on during rougher weather, a luxury not afforded to the MS gaming division.
There's no sense in letting the Xbox brand become more and more obscure by letting it slide the way it's doing right now. They usurped Sony once by beating them to the market with the 360, and it netted them great sales and broad support, despite immense troubles with hardware failures. There is more than a little merit to my sentiment from an objective standpoint, they sold under 200k in the middle of November, that's pretty close to disastrous and 50% down on last year for the same week.
That doesn’t make any sense without software...they would also majorly anger their X1X buyers. What sense would a headstart make? They already have the most powerful hardware. It’s all about the software, always was...additionally how much would you want it to cost?. It would need at east to be 2-3 times more powerful than X1X at a reasonable price. Additionally AMD first needs to start their 7nm production...it’s absolutely unlikely from today’s viewpoint.
Hell XBone’s power was never the true problem. Lack of games was and this doesn’t seem to change until later into next gen, as it seems now.
Xbox’s other problem is unpopularity and image outside English speaking countries and that won’t change just because they’d releaase a year early. Even 360 had like 60% sales from the States alone. Sony would need a royal fuckup for this to have any effect.
The Wii U launched almost exactly 6 years on the day after the Wii, which was market leader (and winner of the 7th gen overall), launching a new Xbox 5 years after the One isn't far-fetched or crazy, or even unlikely, especially given its rather dire outlook at the moment. Numbers could be abysmal a year from now, leaving it sinking into the marsh completely before a new Xbox arrives. In comparison, the Wii sold about 135k on the week ending November 17th 2012, one week before the Wii U launched, the Xbox may very well be a bit below that at this point next year if the trends hold. This is far from as unreasonable as you make it sound.
I think X1 owners are plenty angry about the lack of exclusives, and this seems to be a part of the lack of purchasing incentive as well. The main problem when the One launched was that damn Kinect, it drove prices up heavily and offered no proper use or incentive for consumers, it was perhaps the biggest MS-take of the 8th gen, making Kinect mandatory from the beginning.
As far as 7nm chips go, AMD is doing well on that front, with their new sets set to reveal during CES2019, in early January next year, plenty of time, 7nm production has likely begun as we speak. Why does it have to be 2-3 times stronger than the Xbox One X? That's sort of the point of the X and PS4 Pro; cushioning this fall in power between generations as current hardware ages, the fact that X and Pro exist speaks against the theory that the next consoles need to be a lot more powerful. Mid gen upgrades change the rules, that's the entire point. And the 8th gen won't last as long as the 7th gen, the market is simply moving too fast and the need for revision is too great, again as indicated by the mere existence of the X and Pro, in addition to Slim models.
Xbox popularity is indeed an issue outside of English-speaking countries, I think they should just stop releasing in Japan at all, there's really no point to it. But they're being soundly beaten even in their strongest territory now, in the NA region. Their past hold on the UK also seems to have gone. The Xbox brand is taking damage every week, and there doesn't appear to be any proper software push to alleviate the situation on the horizon or in the near future. To me, it's looking very much like they're really contemplating releasing a new machine fairly soon. A new machine with some drive behind it has more of a chance of making an impact than one that has failed, relatively speaking. Trying to maintain another 2-3 years of sales in the 4-6 million region is near to worthless at this point, when the competition is posting 2.5-3 times that number on average, or more. Even without fuckup's from Sony, it makes more sense to reset and start over with another machine rather than being embarrassed even longer with the current one. As far as the 8th gen is concerned, we can conclude that Sony have made no fuckup's and the results are clear; lingering here won't serve MS at all at this point.
The most unreasonable thing to do from where I'm sitting is sitting around watching the Xbox brand becoming more or less irrelevant on the market compared to the competition and trying any sort of huge intervention or push entering the console's 6th year on the market. Their recent spree of studio acquisitions and their backing off on the whole Windows store thing could very well indicate that they're preparing for a proper push with a new console in the very near future. I doubt they'd buy a studio like Obsidian and let them simply release their heavy fare on a sinking Xbox One as their first primary objective as a newly welcomed 1st party, it makes no sense at all.