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‘Extra versatile’ subsequent gen Xbox consoles deliberate for 2028 Categorical Instances

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The subsequent subsequent gen is already being contemplated (Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft has pencilled in 2028 for the beginning of era 10 however they appear to be considering a extra open {hardware} normal.

Though there not appears to be any main impediment to Microsoft shopping for Activision Blizzard, after their victory in the court battle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we still don’t appear to be any closer to an official closure on the deal.

What has happened this week though is the release of a number of documents that were used in the case but not made public until now. They’re all heavily redacted but they include confirmation that The Elder Scrolls 6 will not be released on PlayStation 5 and that Activision met with Nintendo about the Switch 2 last December.

What they also show is that Microsoft is planning to release a new generation of consoles in 2028. That’s not something Microsoft intended to make public at this time but there’s already been at least one high level meeting about it.

Considering that the current generation began in late 2020, and given the complications caused by the pandemic, 2028 does seem like a reasonable estimate for the next generation and indeed it’s a date that came up a few times in the court case.

What the new documents show is that this wasn’t a vague guess, but a target decided on in May 2022 during a meeting involving a dozen different execs, including the head of Microsoft itself, Satya Nadella; chief financial officer Amy Hood; and Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

Given Microsoft’s interest in cloud gaming it may seem surprising to see them openly planning a new hardware generation at this time, but such things take a long time to design and organise, so they have to start now – even if market conditions will be very different in 2028.

The document reveals a non-Xbox exec asking whether the next gen Xbox will still be a traditional console with fixed hardware standards, or if it’ll be something more open-ended.

The answer to that question is vague but seems to imply that it will keep a hardware standard but potentially have more than just two models, equivalent to the Xbox Series X and S.

‘We need to be even more flexible going forward with gen 10, but also provide the ability for creators to take advantage of unique hardware capabilities,’ was the exact answer.

A console without hardware standards is literally just a PC, negating the entire point of the concept – so it’s not clear why anyone at Microsoft is contemplating a change. Although it may be that the non-Xbox execs don’t understand this.

At the start of the generation there were rumours of multiple additional console models, beyond just the X and S, but these never materialised.

Whether the leaks were simply wrong or Microsoft changed its mind is unclear but while there have been many rumours of a PS5 Pro, nothing so far suggests that an Xbox equivalent is imminent.

It’s certainly not unusual for manufacturers to be thinking about a new generation this far out and it’s generally true that as soon as one console is finished, work on the next one begins – so Sony has almost certainly already started serious work on the PlayStation 6.

Xbox Series V console leak

Is the Xbox Series V the Xbox All Digital Edition? (pic: Twitter)

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