Microsoft will release a new version of the Xbox Series X in 2024

This is less of an upgrade compared to the Xbox Series X and more of a proper refresh of the company's current console lineup.

Microsoft is in a good position to take advantage of its upcoming slate of AAA exclusives next year.

In what's easily the most unexpected revelation in gaming today, documents mistakenly released during the FTC's case against the Activision Blizzard merger have potentially given away Microsoft's plans for the next phase of its Xbox lineup for 2024.

Microsoft is apparently preparing a mid-generation refresh for its Xbox Series X and S consoles, which is technically in line with the company's previous statements.

The new Xbox Series X, otherwise known internally as the "Brooklin", will undergo a striking transformation. Instead of looking like a fridge - Xbox leaned on this joke although Heineken's take on gaming fridges is easily the best - the new Xbox will bear a novel cylindrical design, notably absent of a disc drive, marking a transition towards an entirely digital gaming platform. Brooklin will double the storage capacity at 2TB and will benefit from a USB-C port on the front. The refreshed Series X will also draw 15% less power overall. More importantly, its new low-power standby mode will use merely 20% of the current Series S standby mode's power.

The increased storage is good news for new Xbox Series X owners looking forward to playing games like Fable.

Microsoft isn't leaving the Xbox Series S behind. Despite the recent controversies surrounding its lack of performance, the new economical console, dubbed by Microsoft as the "Elleweed", will be released in September next year and sport a similar design but with an expanded storage capacity of 1TB.

With an existing 1TB carbon black Series S available for a slightly steeper $349.99, Microsoft aims to clear out the older 512 GB Series S inventory by slashing its price to $199.

Both updated consoles come with a revolutionary new Xbox controller, the "Sebile". The all-new controller stands out for its precision haptic feedback, which intriguingly doubles as a speaker. It's equipped with an accelerometer for better and more precise gyro controls, improved modular thumbsticks, quieter buttons, and enhanced Bluetooth and wireless connections.

Microsoft's older investments are about to pay off next year.

According to the disclosed documents, this new controller plays a central role in the Xbox ecosystem strategy. As it laid out in the "Roadmap to 2030" the controller will be the primary device gamers need, regardless of platform, even if it's the next Microsoft console. However, this doesn't indicate a diminishing importance of consoles for Microsoft. In fact, the same document underscores the continued centrality of consoles, noting they remain vital for brand health and major revenue drivers.

The decision to transition to an entirely digital lineup and drop the disc drive is raising a lot of eyebrows. Xbox, which is a company championing backwards compatibility, appears to be backpedaling from commitments it made in the past. By dropping disc drives, Microsoft risks alienating the same playerbase it encouraged to invest in physical games for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X. But, all isn't lost - Microsoft could copy Sony's approach and introduce an external disc drive albeit this isn't a detail found in the leaked documents.

However, it's worth noting that these plans, even if accurate, could change. Following such a substantial unintentional leak, Microsoft might feel compelled to revise its strategy.

Forza Motorsport is just one of the many exclusives that are coming out between now and the next year on the Xbox Series S/X.

Nonetheless, these revelations provide an intriguing insight into the potential future of Xbox gaming, blending a better performance, eco-friendliness, and streamlined design.

With Fable, Avowed, and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II all reportedly set to come out in the next calendar year, Microsoft is setting up the new Xbox Series S and X for success.

Neither the Brooklin nor the Elleweed are touting improved performance. It appears Microsoft is sticking to its plans to skip a mid-cycle upgrade similar to the Xbox One X. It's possible that Microsoft looked at the numbers and it no longer makes financial sense for them to keep up with Sony. Ironically, not getting caught up in the arms race is a mantra that Nintendo, a company Microsoft attempted to acquire in 2020, has adopted for years.

It's still interesting that Xbox is no longer trying to compete with Sony in terms of hardware.

Elsewhere in the same leaked documents, Bethesda was found out to be working on remasters of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3. It remains to be seen if these are minor graphical retouches to the classic games or a full-on remake, as per the earlier rumors.

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  1. I skipped the last releases hoping for a midway console. I will get this one and play on it for 6 years and then upgrade when they decide to launch the new ones 2 years in.

  2. I really wish the S would have had an option to expand storage rather than getting a new console after a few years like this.

Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5872

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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