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Everything we learned from the Xbox leak

Mid-gen refreshes for Xbox Series X and S, a hybrid cloud gaming platform, the next generated dated, and more

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Earlier this week, a collection of documents intended as exhibits in Microsoft's court battle against the Federal Trade Commission, bringing with them significant insight into the future plans for Xbox.

While Xbox boss Phil Spencer has since emphasised that the information contained is outdated, with conversations and documents spread across 2020 to 2022, they at least give details on Xbox's strategy and priorities at the time.

The original documents, uploaded by Microsoft, have since been taken offline but details are still emerging, and we've gathered the highlights all in one place:

  • Despite Microsoft's talk of taking the console industry "beyond generations," the company is still planning to release another Xbox console. As of spring 2022, the aim was to launch the successor to the Xbox Series X and S in 2028, giving the current generation an eight-year lifecycle.
  • Also for 2028, Microsoft has been planning a "hybrid" Xbox platform for cloud gaming that would "[leverage] the combined power of the client and cloud." The new device would be aimed at a price point of less than $99.
  • In the meantime, another document revealed plans for mid-generation hardware refreshes. The Xbox Series X upgrade, codenamed 'Brooklin', would be a cylindrical console with 2TB of storage and no disc drive. It was slated to launch in October 2024 for $499.
  • The Xbox Series S refresh, codenamed 'Ellewood' would have the same form factor and 1TB of storage. The planned launch date was August 2024, with a price tag of $299.
  • Both consoles would feature faster wi-fi, reduced power and come bundled with a refreshed controller that features haptic feedback and a swappable, rechargeable battery. This gamepad is said to be arriving in May 2024, although there is no word on price tag.
  • Yet another document revealed the upcoming lineup for Bethesda's studios, including Dishonored 3, remasters of The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion and Fallout 3, a Ghostwire: Tokyo sequel, an unannounced game based on a licensed IP, and nine free-to-play and/or mobile titles.
  • An internal email from Phil Spencer detailed is ambitions for Microsoft to acquire Nintendo, saying that it would be "a good move for both companies." However, he acknowledged an acquisition would be difficult, as Nintendo is "sitting on a big pile of cash," and it would take "a long time for Nintendo to see that their future exists off of their own hardware. A long time."
  • One internal email exchange from May 2022 saw Spencer and Microsoft's VP of gaming business development Sarah Bond discussing how much it would cost to bring AAA titles to Xbox Game Pass. Estimates ranged from $300 million for Star Wars Jedi Survivor and $250 million for Mortal Kombat 1 to $5 million for Return to Monkey Island.

For further analysis, make sure you listen to our latest Microcast, in which Chris Dring and James Batchelor discuss the impact of these leaks, and how the games industry might potentially negate future leaks.

We will continue to update this article as more information emerges.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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