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The next-generation Xbox console: Here’s everything that’s known

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Discussion regarding the future of the Xbox platform, including a Series X/S refresh and Microsoft’s next-generation console, has been stirred up once again.

This generation of Xbox consoles has been out since November 2020, and while it hasn’t been that long yet, at least when compared to the life of the Xbox One X/S, there have already been several leaks hinting at when the next generation of Xbox consoles might come out. One of those leaks came from Microsoft itself, but there has also been chatter and rumors regarding upcoming hardware.

With talk about the PS5 Pro and its specs also heating up, it’s worth taking a look at what the rumors say and what Microsoft’s leaked internal plans are. Here’s everything that’s known about the next-generation Xbox console and the Xbox Series refresh.

When is the next-generation Xbox console coming out?

Micrsoft’s internal plan was to release a next-gen Xbox console in 2028, per leaked internal documents. This information came out in the massive Microsoft leak that followed its court battles regarding the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Alongside a slew of emails, estimates, and statistics were Microsoft’s plans for future Xbox hardware.

Microsoft planned to launch a next-generation Xbox console with a built-in crypto wallet that is cloud-powered to run AI-generated games in 2028. These plans have been seen in action with deals like Microsoft’s investments in generative AI.

That was the plan in early 2022 and there have been rumors that those plans have changed. Kepler_12, an AMD data miner who has previously leaked information related to consoles, claimed in September that the timeline for the console’s release has been moved up. A fan was speculating on X that if the next Xbox console comes out in 2027, then Elder Scrolls 6 might have a 2028 and beyond release date. Kepler responded to that tweet stating that “Xbox-next isn’t that far away.”

If this is correct and the next-generation Xbox console does come out before 2027, then that would make the lifetime of the Xbox Series shorter than the Xbox One. This isn’t unheard of from Microsoft, as the Xbox 360 was released a year before the launch of the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

Microsoft’s plans may have been moved up or pushed back. Discussion on a next-gen console coming out as early as 2026 has been met with mixed reactions. Some are frustrated over the idea, citing the PS4 and Xbox One still getting some major releases and how supply chain issues made Xbox Series and PS5 consoles scarce until early 2023. Others stated that rapid advancements in machine learning and upscaling could make it worthwhile.

When will the Xbox Series X refresh be released?

There is still no word on when an Xbox Series X refresh will come out.

The specs and estimated release date for the Xbox Series X refresh were leaked in internal documents. As of 2022, the console had a distinctive cylindrical shape and was intended to be a digital-only console with a 2TB hard drive that uses a more efficient 6nm process. It was planned to be released in October 2024 alongside a new Xbox controller.

There is still no word on this console being released. If it’s true that Microsoft has moved up its plans to release a next-generation Xbox console in 2026, the company may opt against releasing a refresh due to the comparatively short shelf life for the console.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

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