In an unexpected turn of events, Microsoft’s vision for the fourth year of the Xbox Series X/S has been unveiled through leaked documents originating from the Federal Trade Commission’s legal dispute in June, where they attempted to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
These confidential documents have now surfaced, revealing Microsoft’s ambitious plans for late 2024, which include a redesigned Series S, a cylindrical disc-less update for the Series X, and an improved controller boasting enhanced haptic feedback.
It’s crucial to note that the information, as is often the case, may undergo changes before the products actually reach consumers. These details were discovered within unrelated files uploaded during the Northern District Court of California proceedings, forming part of a vast collection of unredacted documents.
The roadmap outlines Microsoft’s Xbox strategy up to 2030, hinting at the impending release of the Series S refresh (codenamed Ellewood) and Series X refresh (codenamed Brooklin) in late 2024, alongside an entirely new Xbox controller (codenamed Sebile).
According to the leaked documents, both console variants will maintain their existing price points of $300 for the Series S and $500 for the Series X but will introduce several notable upgrades. The revamped Xbox Series X will adopt a cylindrical form and eliminate the disc drive, signaling Microsoft’s potential shift towards an all-digital future.
While retaining the same specifications as the initial launch console, including 16GB of RAM and 12 teraflops of computing power, it will boast a substantial increase in internal storage, offering 2TB instead of the previous 1TB. Other enhancements include faster Wi-Fi 6E support, Bluetooth 5.2 compatibility, a 15 percent reduction in power consumption, and the addition of a USB-C port on the front panel.
Concurrently, the forthcoming Xbox controller will feature a two-toned design and introduce a rechargeable and replaceable battery. What sets it apart, however, is the promise of precision haptic feedback, quieter buttons and thumbsticks, and an accelerometer. Impressively, the controller will activate merely by picking it up, eliminating the need for a button press. Its expected price tag is set at $70.
According to the leaked roadmap, the controller will make its debut in May, followed by the Series S refresh in September, and finally, the Series X refresh in November. Notably, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer had previously indicated in interviews that the company had no plans for substantial power upgrades to its current consoles before the next hardware generation, which the leaks suggest is earmarked for 2028.
Meanwhile, Sony is reportedly developing a PlayStation 5 Pro, although specific details regarding its specifications remain undisclosed. Presently, the PS5 appears to be outselling the Xbox Series X/S by a ratio of two to one. Interestingly, the majority of current Xbox owners have opted for the less powerful Series S, accounting for approximately 75 percent of Xbox sales, while the Series X comprises the remaining 25 percent.