Microsoft’s Xbox Series X Refresh & Next-Gen Xbox consoles have been detailed in a major leak by the FTC. The information covers all next-gen hardware and software plans that the company plans to roll out in the coming years.
Major Microsoft Leak Points Out Xbox Roadmap With Refresh In 2024, Next-Gen In 2027 Utilizing AMD’s Future Zen & RDNA Architectures
The leak is a major one and by major one and covers at least three next-gen Xbox consoles as a part of the roadmap. Like any generation, Microsoft has planned to roll out a mid-cycle refresh of its Xbox Series consoles which include the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S.
Xbox Series X Refresh – Project Brooklin For $499 US
First up, we have the Xbox Series X Refresh which is codenamed Project Brooklin. The conceptual pictures of this console show a cylindrical design as opposed to the rectangular design we got on the original Xbox Series X. The console is said to be a fully digital design and the most powerful X console ever, delivering 4K Gen9 console gaming performance with increased internal storage, a faster networking solution (Wi-Fi), a more power efficient design, and all in a $499 US price point.
The Xbox Series X Refresh will come in 2 TB flavors at launch and offer USB-C front panel power delivery, WIFI 6E, Bluetooth 5.2and reduced PSU power by up to 15% which is thanks to a 6nm die shrink of its SOC.
Xbox Series S Refresh – Project Ellewood For $299 US
For the Xbox Series S Refresh, Microsoft is working on Project Ellewood which will share a similar rectangular and slim design as the existing Xbox Series S console with increased internal storage of up to 1 TB, a new and more immersive controller, and the same low price point of $299 US. Xbox Series S Refresh will be outfitted with a new southbridge (PCH) that will enable modern IO such as WIFI 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and it also features a new low-power standby mode which is 20% efficient.
The Xbox Series S Refresh will launch first around Q3 2024 followed by the Xbox Series X refresh in late 2024 if everything goes according to plan. Both consoles will get additional storage options in the second half of 2024.
Next-Gen Xbox Targeting 2027 Launch: Features Hybrid AMD Zen 6 & ARM CPU, RDNA 5 GPU
Lastly, there’s the next-gen Xbox which so far has no internal codenames but some strategic decisions have been laid out which mention that the console will utilize a modernized CPU & GPU architecture.
The CPU side is said to be a choice between ARM64 and x64 with the latter being based on the AMD Zen 6 core IP. The CPU will feature a mix of Big and Little CPU cores essentially a hybrid design while the GPU will be utilizing a chip co-developed with AMD or leveraging their IP such as next-gen RDNA 5 (Navi 5 is mentioned here). Regardless of the CPU choice, AMD will remain as the graphics vendor of choice.
There will also be a major emphasis on the NPU that will handle Machine Learning and AI-related tasks for targeted workloads. It looks like some of the graphics innovations are also mentioned which include:
- Next-Gen DirectX Raytracing
- Dynamic Global Illumination
- Micropolygon Rendering Optimizations
- ML-Based Super Resolution
- Extensibility Model for Faster Iteration and Innovation
As you can note from the graphical features above, it is quite apparent that console makers will be eyeing more robust upscaling techniques while leveraging from AI hardware. NVIDIA and Intel have already shown that dedicated ML hardware can deliver vastly better results than standard FSR and RSR techniques. This also points to AMD potentially going the AI/ML route for upscaling just like its competitors in future GPU generations. Path Tracing is also mentioned for the next-gen Xbox so it makes more sense to include better upscaling tech.
Brand New Xbox Controller – Sebile
The refreshed Xbox Series consoles will also pack in a new controller which is codenamed Sebile and comes with a dual-tone white/black design. The controller is refined to give users a next-gen experience and will be bundled with both consoles at a price of $99 US. In addition to that, there’s another controller, codenamed Igraine which will feature USB Type-C to Type-C cable.
As of right now, the hardware specs for the next-gen Xbox console are yet to be finalized. The move to ARM64 architecture will definitely be a major decision and the SOC design is going to take formal shape around 2024 followed by the first tape out by 2026 so there’s still a lot that can be changed between now and then.
Overall, there’s definitely a lot to be excited about if you are an Xbox user as the company has planned multi-generational updates for existing and upgrades over the course of the next few years.