Everything that was revealed in the massive Xbox leak
The roadmap for Xbox hardware has leaked, revealing upcoming mid-gen refresh consoles, controllers, and a potential Xbox handheld console. The flagsh...
The roadmap for Xbox hardware has leaked, revealing upcoming mid-gen refresh consoles, controllers, and a potential Xbox handheld console. The flagship console, codenamed Brooklin, stands out with a cylindrical design and sustainability-oriented features.
Project Keystone, an exclusively cloud-based version of Xbox, was mentioned but reportedly canceled. Other hardware mentioned includes new controllers, a gaming mouse, and a keyboard, as well as PC accessories. Microsoft also emphasizes repairability and sustainability in its hardware.
The upcoming game lineup for Xbox appears to be thin in the next few years, with major releases following Starfield including Indiana Jones, a remaster of Oblivion, DOOM Year Zero, and two unnamed projects. The release of the 10th generation Xbox is planned for 2029, and development for the 9th generation consoles could be discontinued by 2026.
Xbox has unfortunately been hit by a massive leak, attributed to the ongoing battle between parent company Microsoft and the FTC regarding the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. While this development is a major headache for Xbox as their plans for the next few years are now being scrutinized publicly, it holds some value for those interested in the company's future.
Not all leaks are the same, but they are almost always unwanted. Unannounced plans are sometimes in early stages and may never see the light of day otherwise. Any potential competitive advantage that could be gained from the plans in later stages of development is lost, carefully crafted marketing strategies are derailed. Some leaks cannot be plugged, and the Xbox-FTC leak is one of them. One thing to keep in mind is that the leaked information in the case of Microsoft and the FTC is from 2022. Within a year, a lot can change, although at least some of the mentioned plans are likely to be realized.
Xbox Hardware Roadmap
One of the most significant parts of this leak is the hardware roadmap for Xbox. The leaked information includes upcoming Xbox hardware such as mid-gen refresh consoles, controllers, and an Xbox handheld. There are no indications that Xbox is currently working on a handheld, but it was mentioned here as a possible future project. The image used for the Xbox handheld could simply be a replica.
The FTC leak reveals more about the Xbox Series X Refresh than anything else. The next version of the flagship Xbox console, codenamed Brooklin, features a cylindrical design and several interesting features that apparently aim for sustainability. It does not have a disc drive.
Brooklin is described as a console with a redesigned Southbridge to modernize its input/output capabilities and sustainability efforts. The details about the Series S update are not as extensively described as the X, but a small glimpse of it can be seen. It appears similar to the popular Series S, but presumably smaller. Both consoles will be released with prices of $499 for the Series X and $299 for the Series S. Both consoles are expected to be unveiled in June 2024. It also seems that Xbox considers the target market for each console as separate audiences.
More New Xbox Hardware
One interesting detail that may be overlooked in the FTC Xbox disclosure is the mention of Project Keystone, an exclusively cloud-based version of Xbox that appeared on Phil Spencer's shelf at one point. Reports suggest that Project Keystone was canceled towards the end of 2022. Any or all other mentioned hardware and games may have suffered the same fate, but it is still worth taking a look at them.
Additional new hardware in the works includes several controllers. A new "Core" Xbox controller with the codename Sebile, a one-handed controller, a mobile controller, a "Premium" and "Elite" controller, as well as a gaming mouse and a keyboard. Once again, some of these are mentioned in the "not in focus for first-party" column: the mobile controller and a media controller, which is assumed to be the aforementioned one-handed controller.
What appears to be in the pipeline are PC accessories along with the "Luxury" and "Elite" controllers codenamed Zarasai and Actium. These three hardware components are listed as items on Xbox's radar but have not been funded yet. "Repairability and sustainability" is another item on this list, suggesting that Microsoft is moving towards hardware that can be more easily repaired by users if it breaks. After all, controllers are typically the first parts to wear out on consoles.
Upcoming Games From Xbox
A roadmap of upcoming Xbox video games has also been leaked to the public. Major first-party games seem to be relatively scarce in the coming years, unless... Perhaps the large acquisition offer made to Activision was intended to fill in the seemingly sparse release schedule. If these pieces of information are somehow accurate, Xbox players can only look forward to Indiana Jones and a remaster of Oblivion as first-party titles in the year following Starfield.
The following fiscal year, presumably 2025, begins with DOOM Year Zero and also includes two unnamed projects referred to as Project Kestrel and Project Platinum. The last year on the list is a bit more diverse, featuring The Elder Scrolls 6, a "Licensed IP Game," a sequel to Ghostwire Tokyo, a remaster of Fallout 3, and Dishonored 3.
Xbox 10th Generation
Another infographic showcasing Xbox's goals until the year 2030 reveals that the company had planned or planned to release its 10th generation hardware in the calendar year 2029, with the development of Gen 9 games ending around the calendar year 2026. This timeline largely aligns with the best-informed speculations about the lifespan of Gen 9 consoles, but it is probably best not to take it too seriously.
The leaked documents reveal that mid-generation refresh consoles and new controllers are being worked on in the future. Several games are also being developed, and the 10th generation Xbox is likely in its early stages of development. The near future could be dry in terms of first-party Xbox games, but even though their existence has not been officially confirmed, DOOM Year Zero, Fallout 3 Remastered, an official Oblivion remaster, and Dishonored 3 could be exciting games to look forward to.