Microsoft’s next Xbox is probably ditching the disc drive

Xbox leaked Series X slide
Pictured: Xbox Series X refresh leaked slide
// Whoops.
Fergus Halliday
Sep 20, 2023
Icon Time To Read2 min read

Published on September 19, 2023

Unredacted documents originally filed (and then accidentally released) as part of the US Federal Trade Commission's attempt to prevent Microsoft's acquisition of Activision-Blizzard just gave us a sneak peek at the next Xbox.

Now expected to arrive in 2024, the refreshed Xbox Series X (codenamed Brooklin) features double the internal storage (2TB up from 1TB), a rounded cylindrical design, a front-facing USB C port and no disc drive. In many ways, it's broadly analogous to Sony's own PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

The updated console also features a number of under-the-hood tweaks, including an improved low-power setting, WiFi 6E connectivity and Bluetooth 5.3 audio support.

Naturally, the Xbox Series S is also getting a makeover. Codenamed Ellewood, this refresh isn't as big a departure as the previous model. However, it does feature more storage (1TB up from 512GB) and improved connectivity through the addition of WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 audio.

Both the refreshed Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are also set to be bundled with a  new Xbox Controller. Touting a new two-tone design made of recycled materials, the accessory is said to feature improved ergonomics, rechargeable batteries plus haptic feedback akin to that found in Sony's DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5.

The leaking of the two consoles alone would be huge news, but it's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the product roadmaps revealed by the trove of documents. Other tidbits include details of a new cloud gaming hybrid handheld, estimates of how much the company planned to spend on a number of Game Pass exclusives and emails in which Microsoft executives discussed acquisitions of Nintendo, Warner Bros Gaming and Valve.

You can check out some of the leaked slides for yourself below.

Xbox head Phil Spencer acknowledged the leaks hours after it was picked up by media.

" It is hard to see our team's work shared in this way because so much has changed and there's so much to be excited about right now, and in the future," he said.

As you'd expect, the aftermath of these leaks has been just as chaotic as the contents inside them. The gaming industry is notoriously secretive and this week's whoopsie might end up going down as one of the biggest accidental Xbox-related leaks of all time.

While the authenticity of the information isn't in question, the documents themselves date back to May 2022. It's entirely possible that any of the plans made by Microsoft may have changed in the time since.

For example, The Verge reported on the existence of Microsoft's cloud gaming-focused take on the Google Chromecast back in October 2022 and there's still no timeline as to if or when it'll ever actually make its way into the hands of consumers. At the same time though, a mid-cycle refresh of Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S seems like it's probably going to happen sooner rather than later.

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Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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