Just started reading the article, so I haven't read much, just the comment about the size, and got me thinking. Considering it is very much using PC parts in these now, it makes sense for them to be bigger, especially when you consider the cooling. More cooling power means more power options. - bigger heat sinks, bigger fans, etc.
But, it also got me thinking about another idea that I'm surprised no one has considered (or maybe they did and didn't think it plausible). Consoles have always been built as stand alone pieces. And a generally small footprint, which has had people complain about heating and cooling. But these are generally hooked up to TVs and entertainment systems. And surround sound in these games have been around for a long time as well. So why not design these to match more of an audio component (A/V Receiver, Blu-Ray player, etc). It would be much easier to match the design with the standard footprint of stereo component. You wouldn't have the issue of some people liking the odd design that some designers came up with, and others hating it. Most people would prefer to have something match the esthetics of their other components than have this big, odd, white, retro spaceship idea sitting off to the side. And it would give them a TONNE more space for components and cooling. They could even incorporate a slot at the bottom front to store the controllers and have them charging when not being used.