Microsoft is planning a mid-gen refresh for its Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, eyeing a release in 2024. A series of leaked court documents from the Microsoft vs. US FTC trial revealed a roadmap and concept images for its upcoming set of gaming systems, which also includes a new controller with gyro and haptic feedback. Codenamed ‘Brooklin,’ the all-digital Xbox Series X boasts the same horsepower as the existing version, albeit lacking a disc drive. The console is cylindrically shaped and comes with a generous 2TB storage — up from 1TB — which I’m guessing is an SSD. It’ll bear the same price tag of $499/ Rs. 54,990 and is slated to drop in late October, next year.
The leaked slides also promise faster Wi-Fi 6E for low latency and reduced power consumption by 15 percent. Last month, Xbox boss Phil Spencer claimed in an interview that the company had no plans for a mid-gen refresh and that it was largely focused on increasing the storage on the Xbox Series S, which currently stands at 512GB. Now we know that ‘Ellewood,’ a refresh for the less-expensive Xbox Series S is planned for August 2024, priced at $299/ Rs. 34,990 and a 1TB internal storage. The form factor and other hardware capabilities, however, remain the same with 10GB of RAM, which has recently been causing issues for developers. Larian Studios previously stated that the technical limitations of the Xbox Series S are preventing them from adding split-screen co-op in Baldur’s Gate 3, indirectly leading to a delayed release on the Xbox ecosystem.
“We’ve seen the conversation around old emails and documents,” Spencer acknowledged the leaks in a tweet. “It is hard to see our team’s work shared in this way because so much has changed and there’s so much to be excited about right now, and in the future. We will share the real plans when we are ready.” As mentioned before, the leak also included plans for ‘Sebile,’ the new Xbox controller which despite bearing a similar look and layout to the existing wireless variants, features some changes to enhance immersion while gaming. There’s precision haptic feedback similar to PS5’s DualSense controller. Buttons will generally be quieter and the support for gyro should let us control in-game movement by simply tilting the gamepad in certain directions. I’m assuming any studios under Xbox will be asked to consider the latter feature for any future titles.
The leaked documents have also revealed that Xbox is planning its next-gen console for 2028, which goes in line with Spencer’s comments during the Activision Blizzard acquisition trial from June. As reported by The Verge, the company is describing it as a hybrid gaming platform that relies on the cloud “to deliver deeper immersion and entirely new classes of game experiences.” Xbox seems to be eyeing AMD’s Zen 6 CPUs for the console’s processing power and Navi 5 graphics. The roadmap indicates that hardware design will start next year, while the first dev kits will be sent out in 2027. Bear in mind that these plans could always change.