FTC Documents Leaks Next-Gen Cloud-Hybrid Xbox Hardware, Targeting 2028

As the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Microsoft case continues to stir in court, newly leaked documents have outlined the latter’s plan to release a next-gen piece of hardware by 2028. Additionally, documents outline Microsoft’s roadmap for games and supplemental hardware in the interim.

In what can only be described as the biggest leak in Xbox history, documents have been published by The Verge, highlighting Microsoft’s plans to introduce a new console in 2028. As of this time, this console is being positioned as a  “full convergence” of Microsoft’s cloud gaming goals. This new physical piece of hardware could introduce “cloud hybrid games” to the ecosystem.

Source: FTC v Microsoft via The Verge

Additional information has been garnered from what appears to be pitch deck slides obtained by the FTC and later reported on. Dated back to May 2022, documents detail Microsoft’s ‘Cohesive Hybrid Compute’ strategy. The idea is that Microsoft may deliver a disc-less console, capable of utilizing powerful hardware and cloud innovations with a price tag of a meagre $99 USD (around $132.96 CAD).

Source: FTC v Microsoft via The Verge

Another slide shows the timeline of Xbox console releases. With the latest being the 2020 Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft shows a ‘Next Gen’ header with a release of 2028 to cap it off. Under it, the company notes it’ll utilize ‘Cloud Hybrid Games’ and be an “Immersive game and app platform.”

Although plans are not entirely confirmed, it may appear as though early development is already underway. Another slide shows that hardware design may be scheduled to take place in 2024. The first dev kits may later be sent out to developing partners by 2027. In the meantime, development on the first hybrid cloud games could be underway throughout 2024-2026.

In order to pursue this, Microsoft had to make important considerations on hardware. Documents show that Microsoft has to build a thin operating system in order to run local aspects of said cloud games. Additionally, the company has to choose which team will be responsible and which one will build it.

Source: FTC v Microsoft via The Verge

In a slide named “Roadmap to 2030,” Microsoft highlights a new controller of sorts. “Controller becomes the hero,” reads the slide. Codenamed “Sebile,” the controller includes Direct-to-Cloud connectivity plus Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth support. Further documents show what appears to be a “Mobile Controller,” a “One-hand Controller” and a keyboard and mouse Microsoft may have had in development.

Source: FTC v Microsoft via The Verge

Finally, it appears as though an Xbox Series X refresh may be in the works. Codenamed “Brooklin,” the mid-gen refresh appears to ditch the Series X’s rectangular design for something more cylindrical. It is said to offer 4K Gen 9 console gaming performance with faster Wi-Fi 6E support, and improved power efficiency. However, the console will be disc-less yet maintain its current $499 USD ($649.99 CAD) price.

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