The Microsoft leaks continue: this time we have a clear idea of the company’s plans for its next-generation Xbox console due out 2028.
Documents released as part of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) versus Microsoft trial over the buyout of Activision Blizzard include a pitch dated May 2022 that itself includes a slide all about “the next generation of gaming at Microsoft”.
It’s this slide that reveals Microsoft’s plans as of last year. The company plots out a “next generation hybrid game platform” that combines the power of the client and the cloud to “enable new levels of performance beyond the capabilities of the client hardware alone”.
The slide goes into detail about the unannounced hardware, which potentially includes an ARM64 CPU and an AMD GPU. “Forward compatibility” is mentioned. There’s also word of “next gen DirectX ray tracing”, dynamic global illumination, machine learning-based super resolution, and micropolygon rendering optimisations.
Here’s where it gets really interesting: the slide mentions a “thin OS” for sub $99 “consumer or handheld devices”. The suggestion here is Microsoft plans for gamers to be able to use a handheld of some description to play games boosted by the cloud. In another slide, Microsoft mentions “cloud hybrid” games for its next-gen Xbox.
Yet another slide reveals the timeline for the production of this new console. Microsoft is currently in the hardware design phase, if it’s still on track with this plan outlined last year. Development kits are set for 2027. It looks like a late 2028 release was the original target.
It’s important to note that plans change, and this timeline may have shifted. Indeed, Microsoft may have cancelled its plans entirely. IGN has asked Microsoft for comment.