Microsoft has big plans for the fourth year of the Xbox Series X/S, based on new leaks from the Federal Trade Commission’s failed court fight to block the company from acquiring Activision Blizzard in June. In addition to a revised Series S, the tech giant is also planning a cylyindrical, disc-less update to the more powerful Series X, complete with a new controller featuring better haptic feedback.
The information, which is always subject to change prior to products actually shipping, was buried in unrelated files uploaded by the Northern District Court of California and is part of a massive trove of unredacted documents. A strategy roadmap for the Xbox brand through 2030 points to the planned release of the Series S refresh (codename Ellewood) and Series X refresh (codename Brooklin) in late 2024 alongside an all-new Xbox controller (codename Sebile).
Based on the leaked documents, the new versions of the consoles will retain their existing $300 and $500 price points respectively, but offer a number of upgraded features. The new Xbox Series X will by a cylindrical shape and have no disc drive either, suggesting Microsoft could be heading to an all-digital future. While it will retain the same 16GB ram and 12 teraflop specs as the existing launch console, it will have 2TB of internal storage instead of 1TB, faster Wi-Fi 6E support, Bluetooth 5.2 radio, 15 percent less power consumption, and a USB-C port on the front.
The new controller, meanwhile, will be two-toned and come with a rechargable and replaceable battery. More importantly, Microsoft’s internal strategy documents claim it will offer precision haptic feedback, quieter buttons and thumbsticks, and an accelerometer. The controller will also apparently turn on simply by picking it up rather than pushing a button. It will seemingly be priced at $70.
According to the roadmap, the controller will arrive in May, followed by the Series S refresh in September and the Series X refresh in November. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer had previously told Bloomberg and others in interviews throughout the summer that the company was not working on any substantial power upgrade to its current consoles prior to the next hardware generation, which leaks suggest is currently planned for 2028.
Sony, on the other hand, is reportedly currently working on a PlayStation 5 Pro. It’s still not clear what the specs of that machine might be. The PS5 currently appears to be outselling the Xbox Series X/S two to one. A majority of current Xbox owners have so far opted for the less powerful Series S, however. New data released as part of the FTC trial puts it at roughly 75 percent compared to 25 percent for the Series X.