Next Xbox console could feature AMD Zen 5 and RDNA 5

Much sooner than expected.

Xbox console concept by DZ Migo.
Xbox console concept by DZ Migo.

Rumours suggest Microsoft’s next Xbox console might feature AMD’s Zen 5 and RDNA 5 designs. This could even open the door for machine learning and AI upsampling, in addition to better ray tracing performance.

According to RedGamingTech, Microsoft’s fifth major console release could arrive sooner than expected, eyeing up a 2026 release date. The new rumour contradicts previous leaks, as FTC filings during Microsoft’s case to acquire Activision Blizzard pointed towards 2028 for next-gen consoles.

This would put it against Sony’s PlayStation 5 refresh, which might debut as soon as Q4 next year. Although that potentially gives Sony the best part of two years uncontested, the PlayStation 5 Pro as it’s called might not be a huge upgrade. Leaks suggest it’ll carry the same eight Zen 2 CPU cores clocked up to 4.3GHz and identical 16GB of 18Gbps GDDR6 shared memory, with the main change being 60 RDNA 3 compute units sporting a 2.8GHz clock, up from 36 RDNA 2.

The PlayStation 6 instead has a rumoured 2028 release date. This could give Microsoft two years of next-generation gaming without a direct rival. It’d also be the first time these two break lockstep with hardware launches.

Xbox is reportedly thinking of including NPUs (Neural Processing Units) to accelerate AI workloads such as image upscaling. Additionally, the new console could potentially feature more advanced NPCs (non-player characters) powered by AI.

Unlike Xbox Series S and X, the next console generation will likely only feature a single model. This could be due to the difficulties some developers face in accounting for two sets of hardware.

Instead, next-gen Series S equivalents could come in the form of a cloud gaming app. Rather than dedicated hardware, you might be able to use current-gen consoles to play next-gen titles. Meanwhile, according to another rumour, Microsoft has canned the all-digital Xbox Series X to focus on the next console release.

Considering how quickly rumours are fluctuating, it’s possible Microsoft has a couple of things in the pipeline. In any case, these specs are still far from finalised, and we bet the next leak will change a thing or two. Stay tuned.