The US Federal Trade Commission’s case against Microsoft didn’t ultimately block the company’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but leaked documents from the case are giving us an unusually detailed look at Microsoft’s near-future plans for the Xbox. Court documents published by the Verge include a slide deck, complete with renders, that detail a mid-generation refresh of both Xbox Series consoles, plus a revamped controller with an updated design and new features.
The biggest changes are coming to the Xbox Series X. Codenamed “Brooklin,” the updated console looks like a marriage of the original boxy monolith that is the Series X and the cylindrical design of Apple’s old “trash can” Mac Pro. The console would be all-digital, ditching its optical drive but stepping up from 1TB to 2TB of internal storage. The port on the front changes from USB-A to USB-C, and the console would include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 upgrades.
On the inside, the console’s CPU and GPU would use a 6 nm manufacturing process instead of the current 7 nm process. Because the specs are changing, this means power consumption will go down, and the deck indicates that the console’s power supply will be 15 percent smaller than the current Series X (that measures out to around 270 W, based on the 315 W capacity of the current power supply). An “all-new southbridge” will “modernize IO,” and a “new low-power standby mode” would use just 20 percent as much power as the current console’s standby mode.