Microsoft’s biggest leak ever reveals new Xbox, games, fat wallet
It’s been a day for Microsoft. Hell it’s been a couple of years, culminating with the hopeful closure of the Activision Blizzard acquisition. But now this — an absolutely massive leak of information has streamed onto the web thanks to some unlucky soul at Microsoft uploading the wrong documents into a public server. The wealth of information, which was meant to be publicly redacted and only viewable in the FTC’s court proceedings, became available to all. The floodgates opened as to what MS had in mind with Xbox over the last several years and into the future, and now we’re all here trying to make sense of it.
It’s worth mentioning, though, that all of this information is likely out of date. Some of it is year’s old, some of it was offhand comments, and some of it never actually materialized. But, some of it — nay, ALL of it — is absolutely fascinating.
Series X & S refresh
Let’s kick it off with the current gen of consoles. It’s not unusual for companies to continue iterating on products to make them cheaper, smaller, and more profitable while at the same time more compelling to consumers. Microsoft did it with the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, and now it’s probably going to happen again with the Series X and S. The leaked info, which you can see above, details an improved mid-cycle device due in 2024. The Series X (codenamed “Brooklin”) will move to a disc-less format, with improved WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, USB-C connections, and a 2TB HDD. It’s updated Industrial Design packages it into a smoother layout, looking more like a giant Amazon Alexa device than a game console. It’ll package with a new controller, which includes gyro controls, audio, and haptics, alongside modular sticks. The price would remain at $499.
The Series S will see similar internal improvements to its Wifi and BT, and include the new controller as well, while retaining the current $299 price point.
The new controller is said to go on sale in May, with the Series X being announced in June (possibly at the annual showcase?) for a Fall 2024 release. The Series S would land in August/September of 2024.
The next Xbox is under development, at least in theory. Microsoft had started initial understanding of its next gen device, which would try to get the console + cloud initiative back on track. The device would be more powerful, but how much power is still undetermined. In the documents it was initially scheduled for a 2028 launch.
OF COURSE Microsoft is developing new games in its most popular franchises, which now include Bethesda. In the court proceedings we’ve found out that the much-rumored Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Fallout 3 remakes are (or were) real, that a new DOOM sequel might be coming, and that Microsoft is *already* planning a Starfield sequel. And a whole lot of mobile games! Maybe?
Oh, and one of the more shocking bits of news that spilled out was based on Phil Spencer’s interest in Nintendo. The head of Xbox (at one point) thought about what it would take to get Nintendo into Microsoft’s fold. It wouldn’t be the first time the company has tried to scoop up the Big N, but once again there was probably a lot of laughing going on. Though the thoughts were likely intended as a way to try and seal a closer partnership to the company (there’s even talk about a friend of Phil purchasing more Nintendo stock to gain influence with the Japanese giant, and the idea of a “hostile” takeover is floated) it’s important to note that these are typically the kinds of things that corporate heads say and do a lot. Sorry, Phil may have been the chosen one but he’s also still serving his company masters.
Anyhoo, all of this information coming out is devastating. It undermines some of the relationships that Xbox has built, exposes product planning, and, well, lights a fire under the continued often out-of-control discourse of the gaming world.
Source: Game Pass Tracker