Microsoft is reportedly planning a mid-generation refresh of the Xbox Series X, according to a leaked document from the FTC v. Microsoft court battle. This refresh will feature a new disc-less cylindrical design, which is quite different from the current boxy design of the Xbox Series X. The leaked document also reveals the existence of a new controller codenamed Sebile, which will have a gyro and other new features.
The document also mentions two other new consoles that Microsoft has in the works. The first is a light refresh of the Xbox Series S, codenamed Ellewood, which is set to arrive in September 2024. The second is a new disc-less version of the Xbox Series X, codenamed Brooklin, tentatively planned for November 2024. There is also mention of another model called XDL, which will have the same specs as Brooklin but will offer Xbox Design Lab customization.
The Sebile controller is described as having a built-in accelerometer and haptics that “double as speakers,” similar to Sony’s DualSense controller. It will also feature new modular thumbsticks, quieter buttons and thumbsticks, and new app features. The controller will also have sustainability features like a swappable battery, the use of recycled materials, and improved reparability. It is expected that games will support the gyro feature of the controller, allowing players to maneuver by moving the controller around. There will also be an XDL version of Sebile, codenamed Igraine.
The highlight of the leak is the new updated Xbox Series X console. While Microsoft describes it as “adorable,” many gamers may not find the lack of a disc appealing. The new design features a cylindrical shape that is less severe than the current fridge-like design of the Xbox Series X. In addition to the new design, the Series X will also have several improvements under the hood. It will come with Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, a USB-C front port, and an all-new southbridge to modernize IO and sustainability efforts. The console will also have a 6-nanometer die shrink, resulting in reduced power draw and a new low-power standby mode. Microsoft is also making efforts to increase the use of recycled plastic in the console and packaging.
The new Xbox Series X console will come with 2TB of storage, double the current model, and will include the Sebile controller. Microsoft has stated that it will have the “same great price” as the current Xbox Series X at $499 when it arrives in November 2024. However, it is worth noting that this statement is somewhat misleading since the new console will not include a disc drive.
The Xbox Series S will also receive similar improvements in terms of storage, with 1TB instead of the current 512GB. The design of the Series S appears to be relatively unchanged. Microsoft has stated that the price of the Series S will remain the same at $299, and it is tentatively set to be available in September 2024.
The leaked document also includes additional information that Microsoft would likely want to keep private, such as projected sales volumes, margins, and funding. It outlines a “path to leadership in gaming” with a vision of cloud-first, PC-first, and console-first Xbox Game Pass subscription numbers. The leak is seen as a significant blunder on Microsoft’s part and is expected to have severe consequences.
In conclusion, the leaked document reveals Microsoft’s plans for a mid-generation refresh of the Xbox Series X, which will feature a new disc-less cylindrical design. It also sheds light on new controllers, including one with a gyro, and provides details about the upcoming refreshed Xbox Series S. While the leak may have negative implications for Xbox’s gaming business, it provides early insights into Microsoft’s future plans in the gaming industry.