An unredacted document accidentally made public as part of Microsoft’s court battle with the Federal Trade Commission over its proposed $69bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard has revealed key information regarding the future of Xbox as well as forthcoming video games and messages regarding a potential bid to buy Nintendo.
One piece of documentation, dated from April 2022, details Microsoft’s plan to launch refreshed versions of its Xbox Series S and Series X consoles in September and November 2024 respectively. The Xbox Series X update, codenamed Project Brooklin is, according to the document, set to be digital only – with no disc drive – and features a new cylindrical design, 2TB storage drive, faster wifi, and a new version of the Xbox controller with motion controls via a new accelerometer and a swappable, rechargeable battery. The Xbox Series S (codenamed Ellewood) is also set to boast faster wifi as well as a 1TB storage drive and lower power consumption.
Microsoft has planned to announce the Xbox controller at the end of May, with the new Xbox Series X and S revealed at the end of June or beginning of July.
A presentation slide also part of the leak showed Microsoft’s plans for a new next-generation console in 2028. No other details were included.
Also revealed was a presentations slide detailing planned game releases from the Microsoft-owned video game publisher, Bethesda. These include Dishonored 3, Doom Year Zero, a sequel to Ghostwire: Tokyo and remasters of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3.
Also included with the document was an email exchange between Xbox chief Phil Spencer, chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, and commercial chief marketing officer Takeshi Numoto. The exchange appears to detail Spencer’s plans to make a bid to buy Nintendo. At one point in the exchange, Spencer writes: “I totally agree that Nintendo is THE prime asset for us in gaming and today gaming is our most likely path to consumer relevance.” He later adds, “I don’t think a hostile action would be a good move so we are playing the long game.”
The leak will have a devastating impact on Microsoft’s marketing plans for its Xbox machines. It is as yet unclear how the sensitive information was included in a court document or where responsibility lies.
The Guardian has approached Microsoft for comment.