Microsoft’s Xbox Roadmap Leaks: Xbox Series X|S Refresh, New Controller, and More

Xbox Series X refresh Brooklin

Microsoft’s Xbox roadmap has leaked thanks to a large collection of unredacted documents that have apparently been published by mistake by the FTC (via The Verge). The confidential documents include an internal Xbox presentation titled “Roadmap to 2030” where Microsoft details mid-gen refreshes for its Xbox Series X|S consoles, a new Xbox controller, and what the company is cooking for the 10th console generation.

To my knowledge, a leak of this scale is unprecedented in the history of the gaming industry. While there’s no official reaction from Microsoft yet, the company can’t be happy about it at all. While a lot of information about the Xbox Series X and Series S (codenamed Anaconda and Lockhart) had leaked before Microsoft officially announced the Series X in December 2019, having your entire product roadmap for the current console generation and your plans for the next one leak is certainly not good news.

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Anyway, there’s really a lot of information in this document dated from May 2022, so let’s dive in.

Xbox Series X “Brooklin” refresh coming in 2024

Despite Phil Spencer recently saying that Microsoft has no need to do a mid-gen refresh during this console generation, a new all-digital Xbox Series X codenamed “Brooklyn” is coming in the fall of 2024, and it will be priced at $499. The new console will have a cylindrical design, and it will come with 2TB of internal storage, a USB-C port on the front that supports power delivery, and 2 USB-A ports on the back. According to the document, this refreshed Xbox Series X will also be customizable through the Xbox Design Lab.

Microsoft will also add Wi-Fi 6E support on this new Xbox Series X, as well as Bluetooth 5.2, which will be a first on an Xbox console. The presentation also mentions a new “Xbox Wireless 2” protocol to connect to Xbox controllers and other accessories, though we don’t have any more details about that.

It’s important to note that this refreshed Xbox Series X won’t be more powerful than the current Series X model. You’ll get the same 12 teraflops of computing power and 16GB of RAM. However, the new Series X will come with a more power-efficient 6nm SoC that will reduce power by 15%. A new low-power standby mode will also consume just 20% of the power of the current standby mode on Xbox Series X|S consoles.

Xbox Series S “Ellewood” refresh also coming in 2024

Even though Microsoft has just released a new Xbox Series S Carbon Black with 1TB of storage, a new version of the console codenamed “Ellewood” will also launch in the fall of 2024. This new Series S will have 1TB of storage by default, and it will also add Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and Xbox Wireless 2 support.

The presentation doesn’t mention a new 6nm SoC for this console, but you’ll still get the same 10GB of RAM and 4 teraflops of computing power. If there are apparently no power efficiency improvements during gameplay, the new Series S will also support the same improved low-power standby mode as the refreshed Xbox Series X.

New Xbox Controller with accelerometer and cloud connectivity

The two new refreshed Xbox consoles will come with a redesigned controller codenamed “Sebile.” While the ergonomics are similar to the current Xbox Series X|S controller, this new controller will use new modular thumbsticks delivering improved longevity, and hopefully, that means fewer stick drift issues. All controllers will also come with rechargeable and swappable batteries, which is another welcome change.

This new controller will have an accelerometer to improve immersion in games, and the presentation also mentions that “VCA haptics double as speakers.” The accelerometer will also add support for a new “Lift to wake” capability on Xbox consoles.

New Xbox Controller Sebile

This redesigned controller will support a new Xbox Wireless 2 protocol, Bluetooth 5.2, as well as a new direct connection to Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming servers. Google used a similar technology to reduce latency on its Stadia controller, and Amazon’s Luna controller also has a similar direct-to-cloud connectivity.

According to the leaked presentation, this new Xbox controller will launch in May 2024. Microsoft planned to announce its refreshed Xbox Series X and Series S consoles during an Xbox event in June 2024. The new Series S could launch in late August and be followed by the refreshed Series X in late October.

Xbox mid-gen refresh launch timelines

Microsoft is targeting 2028 for its next-gen Xbox

In another confidential document that leaked on Resetera today, we learned that Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox console could launch in 2028. For this new console generation, Microsoft wants to build a “cloud to edge” architecture that will support cloud hybrid games. There will also be a big focus on AI and machine learning to optimize performance and graphics.

Under the hood, Microsoft is considering either an ARM64 SoC or a traditional x64 “Zen 6” SoC built by AMD. The CPU part of the SoC will have a combination of high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores, while the GPU will either be co-designed with AMD or be customized by Microsoft using AMD IP. The next-gen Xbox SoC will also include a neural processing unit (NPU) to optimize workloads.

Microsoft's next-gen xbox plans

Microsoft’s game roadmap includes Fallout 3 and Oblivion remasters

Last but not least, a release schedule list of Xbox-exclusive games has also leaked on Resetera, though the information about release dates seems to be out of date. Anyway, Microsoft apparently has remasters of Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in the pipeline, which is good news for gamers who haven’t experienced these classics yet. While the Xbox 360 versions of these two games are backwards compatible on Xbox consoles, Fallout 3 doesn’t run very well on modern PCs.

As for new games, this game roadmap mentions a new Doom game called Doom Year Zero. Arkane Studios, which released the poorly-received Redfall earlier this year is also working on Dishonored 3. A sequel to Tango Gameworks’ Ghostwire Tokyo is also in the pipeline.

That’s a lot of new information to digest and while we’re waiting to see how Microsoft reacts to this massive leak, the refreshed Xbox Series X coming with no disc drive means that the company is really about to give up on physical games. It still remains to be seen if the company could continue selling the current-gen Series X with a disc drive, but the future of Xbox is definitely all-digital.

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