Significant new details on Microsoft’s hardware plans for the next several years have leaked courtesy of unredacted FTC documents that were accidentally published. As per these details, Microsoft intends to continue further integration of cloud technology for its next-generation Xbox successor, which is likely targeting a launch sometime in 2028 or beyond.
Microsoft has been making increasing use of cloud technology for hardware and software purposes over the last few years, and as per the leaked documents (via Reddit), the next generation of Xbox – described as a “full convergence” of local hardware and cloud technology – will continue to build on that with not only a full-fledged “immersive” cloud-native platform for games and apps, but also several cloud-native games as well.
The latter is something we’ve seen an increasing amount of where Microsoft is concerned. Cloud technology was heavily used in Crackdown 3’s multiplayer mode, while the company has also partnered with Kojima Productions to develop an Xbox-exclusive cloud-native game.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the leaked documents (via Reddit), initial internal plans for the specs that will likely be used in the next Xbox generation have also emerged. The relevant slide says Microsoft’s vision is to “develop a next generation hybrid game platform capable of leveraging the combined power of the client and cloud to deliver deeper immersion and entirely new classes of game experiences.”
Microsoft is seemingly weighing multiple options with the hardware to use for its next generation of consoles, including whether to go with ARM64 or x64 (Zen 6), what sort of a balance to strike with big and little CPU cores, whether or not to co-design with AMD or license the company’s Navi 5 tech, and more. Meanwhile, the company is also targeting next-gen DirectX ray tracking, dynamic global illumination, Micropolygon Rendering optimizations, and upscaling powered by machine learning.
Given the fact that the next generation of Xbox consoles is still several years away at this point, it’s fair to say that, even with these leaks, plans are unlikely to be completely set in stone right now- though, one way or another, these details do give a good indication of what direction is Microsoft is looking to head in. And given how the company has operated with Xbox in recent years, it’s not a direction that comes as too much of a surprise.