Microsoft plans to refresh its Xbox consoles in the holiday season of 2024, according to a product road map posted online as part of its case against the Federal Trade Commission.
A trove of Xbox planning documents revealed the codenames of Brooklin, a successor to the Xbox Series X priced at the same US$499, and Ellewood, a refreshed Xbox Series S that also maintains the current price of $299. Both new devices are intended for release in the holiday season of 2024, according to the road map dated April 2022.
The key changes contemplated are improvements to power consumption, better wireless technologies, more built-in storage and a physical redesign. Each new console will be accompanied by a redesigned controller as well, codenamed Sebile and priced at $69, if purchased separately. The new Xbox Series X wouldn’t include a disc drive, with Microsoft describing its intended content delivery for the future platforms as “all digital”.
In a separate document, also from 2022, Microsoft’s Xbox team indicates it plans to introduce its next console generation in 2028. The current two-tier Xbox product family was introduced in late 2020, alongside the latest generation of archrival Sony’s PlayStation.
Microsoft representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Updating the hardware after four years, as detailed in the planning documents, is in line with the typical practice by console makers to revive consumer interest at a time when momentum may be slowing. Nintendo’s six-year-old Switch console is the rare exception to that rule, as it’s continued without a major internal upgrade since its inception in 2017.
Microsoft considered buying Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo as recently as 2020, as shown in an e-mail from Xbox chief Phil Spencer that year, also included in the court materials. Spencer’s view was that Nintendo would be a difficult target to acquire because of its cash reserves and said he didn’t “think a hostile action would be a good move”. In his e-mail, Spencer also discussed plans for the ZeniMax Media acquisition announced later that year. — Vlad Savov, with Zheping Huang and Takashi Mochizuki, (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP