The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of the biggest stumbling blocks that's preventing Microsoft from owning Activision Blizzard. As part of its ongoing legal war against Microsoft, it has forced the tech giant to comply and submit several requested documents. This includes files related to the company's "next generation gaming ecosystem" or whatever Microsoft wants to call the next Xbox.
Because of this, we now have more info about what Microsoft is planning for the successor to the Xbox Series S/X.
Unsurprisingly, the public version of the file is significantly redacted, but we have two main takeaways: Microsoft is already working on a new Xbox console and the incoming hardware will remain central to the company's "forward-looking strategy for its console, subscription, and cloud gaming businesses."
Of course, you're free to speculate about the letters behind the 15-character redacted name. Hint: it starts with "Project".
With that said, it's interesting that the ongoing $70 billion acquisition has resulted in information referencing the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation 6 prematurely. We've even uncovered info about other games, including GTA 6, as part of the proceedings.
As for the FTC, it's only natural for the governing body to pry into the details of Sony and Microsoft. The FTC is trying to find out if handing Microsoft the keys to Activision Blizzard will result in anti-competition and anti-trust problems down the line. It believes that it's important to know more about what Microsoft has planned long-term as it seeks to argue against the deal giving Microsoft too much power.
Microsoft has complied with the requests from the FTC as evidenced by details about the next-gen Xbox coming to light. However, the FTC remains unsatisfied and want more transparency before things go to trial.
As for the PS6 and the next-gen Xbox, it's currently impossible to tell if we're in for a long console gaming lifecycle or not. But, if it's any consolation, we are at least aware that Sony and Microsoft have solid plans for the future.
Speaking of the acquisition, Sony has confirmed that it really is against it. On the other hand, Microsoft is appealing to the public by publishing full page ads. We'll likely find out the results of the many deliberations before the current year ends.