Microsoft plans to update the mid-generation Xbox Series X with a new disc-less cylindrical design. document accidentally discovered from FTC v. Microsoft court battle. It also revealed the existence of a new gyro controller (codenamed Sebile), an updated Xbox Series S, key specs for the new devices, and a timeline. It’s unclear how the documents got to the public, but they could hurt Xbox’s gaming business because they show the company’s strategy more than a year in advance.
Microsoft previously said it did no plans to update the mid-gen console, but that doesn’t seem to be true according to the document. In fact, the company is working on three new consoles. The first, codenamed Ellewood, is a light refresh of the Xbox Series S (arriving in September 2024), while the “Brooklin”, tentatively planned for November 2024, is a new disc-less version of the Xbox Series X. Another model, called the XDL, matches the Brooklin’s specs, but likely will offer Xbox Design Lab customization.
Microsoft’s “Sebile” dual-tone controller has a built-in accelerometer and haptics that “double the function of the speakers,” which would make it more similar to Sony’s latest DualSense controller. It also features new modular sticks, quieter buttons and levers, and new app features, along with sustainability improvements like a replaceable battery, recycled materials, and improved repairability. Once it’s released, we’ll likely see games with gyro support that allow you to maneuver just by moving the controller. The company will also have an XDL version of Sebile codenamed Igraine.
The star of this leak, however, is the new updated Xbox Series X console. While Microsoft touts it as “adorable” (probably due to the cylindrical design, which is less rigid than the current Xbox Series X-like fridge), many gamers may not find the lack of a drive cute at all.
Along with the new design, the X series will come with Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, a front-facing USB-C port, an all-new south bridge “for IO modernization and sustainability efforts,” and a 6nm downscaling. This will result in reduced energy consumption (15 percent) with a new low-power standby mode that is up to 80 percent lower than the current standby mode, along with increased use of recycled plastics (>30 percent) and 100 percent recycled packaging.
It will have 2TB of storage, or double the current model, and will come standard with the Sebile driver. Microsoft also notes that it will have the “same great price” as the current Xbox Series X at $499 when it arrives (tentatively November 2024), but that’s somewhat of a disclaimer given the lack of a drive.
The Xbox Series S will have similar improvements inside, along with double the storage (1TB instead of 512GB), although the design appears relatively unchanged. It’s also slated to carry the same current price of $299, with availability tentatively set for September 2024.
There’s a lot more information listed, including things that Microsoft would no doubt want private, like projected sales volumes, margins, financing, and more. For example, Microsoft notes that “Sebile’s complete product vision is not currently approved due to GM % (gross margin percentage) and seems to be putting the ball on ‘finance’.” cloud-first, PC-first and console-first Xbox Game Pass subscriber vision. The leak seems to be a huge mess that is likely to cause serious repercussions, so stay tuned.