Microsoft’s roadmap for upcoming Xbox consoles have been unearthed amid a raft of new court documents.
The leak, another unexpected twist in Microsoft’s ongoing attempts to acquire Activision Blizzard, reveals plans to launch a refreshed Xbox Series X console in 2024.
The redesigned system, codenamed ‘Brooklin,’ is built around a 6nm die shrink (down from 7nm at present) that improves efficiency while enabling a smaller form factor. Images show the Xbox Series X Refresh will adopt a cylindrical shape that harnesses bottom-to-top airflow in order to keep cool.
On the inside, next year’s console will abandon the optical disc drive entirely in what is seen as a cost- and space-saving measure, but the all-digital format will include a number of noteworthy benefits. SSD storage is to be upgraded from 1TB to 2TB, an entirely new southbridge will enable Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, power consumption is reduced by as much as 20 per cent, and a USB-C front port will feature as standard with support for power delivery.
Despite four years having passed since the launch of Xbox Series X, Microsoft plans to position its design refresh at the same $499 price point.
Joining the new system is a revamped controller codenamed ‘Sebile.’ Much like Sony’s DualSense, the new Xbox controller places a greater emphasis on haptics with “precision feedback” and VCA haptics that “double as speakers.” A built-in accelerometer will allow the controller to wake when lifted, while new modular thumbsticks and a swappable, rechargeable battery promised ‘improved longevity’ alongside build improvements and simplified repairability.
Signalling a complete top-to-bottom refresh, an updated $299 Xbox Series S, codenamed ‘Ellewood,’ is also expected in 2024, complete with 1TB storage, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and the same ‘Sebile’ controller to maintain feature consistency between Microsoft’s QHD and 4K models.
The roadmap goes as far as to suggest potential launch windows. Xbox Series X ‘Brooklin’ is planned to arrive “just in time for the (2024) gifting season,” while Xbox Series S ‘Ellewood’ will arrive “earlier in the holiday timeframe.”