The US Federal Trade Commission’s case against Microsoft didn’t ultimately block the company’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but leaked documents from the case are giving us an unusually detailed look at Microsoft’s near-future plans for the Xbox. Court documents published by the Verge include a slide deck, complete with renders, that detail a mid-generation refresh of both Xbox Series consoles, plus a revamped controller with an updated design and new features.
The biggest changes are coming to the Xbox Series X. Codenamed “Brooklin,” the updated console looks like a marriage of the original boxy monolith that is the Series X and the cylindrical design of Apple’s old “trash can” Mac Pro. The console would be all-digital, ditching its optical drive but stepping up from 1TB to 2TB of internal storage. The port on the front changes from USB-A to USB-C, and the console would include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 upgrades.
On the inside, the console’s CPU and GPU would use a 6 nm manufacturing process instead of the current 7 nm process. Because the specs are changing, this means power consumption will go down, and the deck indicates that the console’s power supply will be 15 percent smaller than the current Series X (that measures out to around 270 W, based on the 315 W capacity of the current power supply). An “all-new southbridge” will “modernize IO,” and a “new low-power standby mode” would use just 20 percent as much power as the current console’s standby mode.
The refresh for the Xbox Series S is codenamed “Ellewood,” and it’s a bit less exciting. The Series S gets the same “all-new southbridge” as the Series X, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 would spruce up its wireless connectivity, and the “low-power standby mode” would reduce power consumption while the console isn’t being used. There’s no mention of an updated manufacturing process for the main CPU/GPU, however; the main draw of the hardware would be a 1TB SSD upgrade at the same $299 price as the current 512GB model (Microsoft currently sells a 1TB Xbox Series S for $349).
The deck indicates that both consoles would be accompanied by a revamped controller codenamed “Sebile.” While the current Series X/S controller is very similar to late-model Xbox One controllers, Sebile looks like a substantial revamp, including a built-in swappable rechargeable battery (no more juggling AAs or buying separate battery packs), “precision haptic feedback,” an accelerometer, and “modular thumbsticks” that can be replaced more easily if they wear out.
The slide deck includes a detailed timeline for launch; the Sebile gamepad would launch in late May of 2024 for $70, followed by an announcement for the new console refreshes in June or July. The new Xbox Series S refresh would launch in late August, followed by the new Xbox Series X in late October; new storage options for both consoles would be announced in the first half of 2025. Microsoft would use $199 Black Friday sales to clear out inventory of the existing 512GB Xbox Series S, and both existing consoles will go away after their refreshes launch.