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Microsoft’s Plans for Next-Generation Xbox Console Revealed in Leaked Documents

Leaked documents from the ongoing Federal Trade Commission versus Microsoft trial over the buyout of Activision Blizzard have provided a glimpse into the company's plans for its next-generation Xbox console, expected to be released in 2028. One of the key slides in the leaked documents outlines Microsoft's vision for a “next generation hybrid game platform” that combines the power of client hardware with cloud capabilities to deliver enhanced gaming performance.

The slide also hints at the potential specifications of the new console, including an ARM64 CPU and an AMD GPU. It mentions “forward compatibility” and highlights features such as “next gen DirectX ray tracing,” dynamic global illumination, machine learning-based super resolution, and micropolygon rendering optimizations.

What sets these plans apart is the mention of a “thin OS” specifically designed for sub $99 consumer or handheld devices. This suggests that Microsoft intends to offer gamers the ability to play cloud-enhanced games on portable devices. Another slide references “cloud hybrid” games for the next-gen Xbox.

According to the leaked documents, Microsoft is currently in the hardware design phase of the project, with development kits expected to be available in 2027. The original target for the console's release was late 2028, but it's important to note that plans can change, and this timeline may have shifted.

It remains to be seen whether these leaked plans will come to fruition, as Microsoft has yet to comment on the documents. However, previous leaks have provided accurate information about Microsoft's mid-gen Xbox refresh and Bethesda's release schedule, suggesting that there may be more revelations to come.

In conclusion, the leaked documents provide an intriguing glimpse into Microsoft's plans for its next-generation Xbox console. With a focus on hybrid gaming, cloud capabilities, and potential handheld gaming devices, the company aims to deliver new levels of performance and immersive experiences for gamers in the future.

Definitions:
– ARM64 CPU: A type of microprocessor architecture designed for ARM Holdings' 64-bit instruction set architecture.
– AMD GPU: Graphics processing unit manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices.
– DirectX ray tracing: Real-time rendering technique that simulates the behavior of light in real-world environments.
– Micropolygon rendering optimizations: Techniques used to improve the rendering of small geometric details in computer graphics.

Sources: FTC v. Microsoft documents, IGN.com