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Xbox leak: new Xbox Series X design, next-gen in 2028, and more

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One of the biggest Xbox leaks in history has occurred, thanks to the FTC v. Microsoft case. Unredacted documents have revealed key Microsoft communications between Xbox executives, plans for a new disc-less Xbox Series X, a gyro controller, and even a next-gen hybrid Xbox in 2028.

It’s the biggest leak in Xbox history, simply because unredacted emails like this don’t usually appear in the public domain. Follow along for all the latest developments.

  • Microsoft addresses the huge Xbox leaks: here’s Phil Spencer’s full memo

    Illustration of Phil Spencer
    Image: Laura Normand / The Verge

    Xbox chief Phil Spencer has just emailed Microsoft employees about the massive Xbox leak that happened earlier today. In the internal memo, obtained by The Verge, Spencer says Microsoft’s Xbox plans “were unintentionally disclosed” as part of the FTC v. Microsoft case. Documents revealed a lot: a disc-less Series X redesign, a 2028 Xbox that could deliver “cloud hybrid games,” a new Xbox controller, unannounced Bethesda games, and even discussions about acquiring Nintendo.

    Spencer hints that Microsoft’s plans may have changed, particularly as some documents were from last year, but others were from years prior. “I know this is disappointing, even if many of the documents are well over a year old and our plans have evolved,” says Spencer in his internal memo.

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  • Microsoft’s new Xbox controller borrows great ideas from Stadia, Steam, and Sony

    An image of Microsoft’s new core gamepad, codenamed Sebile.
    Microsoft’s new core gamepad, codenamed Sebile, may become the new default Xbox gamepad in May 2024.
    Image via court documents, text removed by The Verge

    New Xbox for 2024! New hybrid Xbox for 2028! But can we just appreciate Microsoft’s leaked Sebile controller for a sec?

    The $70 pad could arrive in 2024 chock-full of the best parts of Sony’s DualSense, Valve’s Steam Controller, Google Stadia, and — here’s hoping — 8BitDo.

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  • Microsoft leaked its own Xbox documents, court says

    The Microsoft Xbox game logo against a green and black background.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Microsoft is responsible for the huge trove of leaked documents that revealed things like a new disc-less Xbox Series X design, unannounced games from Bethesda, and executive musings about buying Nintendo, according to a new filing from the FTC v. Microsoft judge on Tuesday.

    In the filing, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley says that the court ordered the Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft to provide the court with “a secure cloud link” to trial exhibits with redactions that met the court’s recent orders. Microsoft provided a link on September 14th, and the court uploaded the exhibits from there, Judge Corley says.

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  • Read the full unredacted email where Microsoft reacts to Sony’s PS5 reveal

    Microsoft’s white Xbox Series S sits alongside a bigger black Xbox Series X on a wooden coffee table in a living room
    Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

    Last night, the biggest Xbox leak in history revealed multiple new Xboxes, including plans for an ambitious hybrid Xbox that could arrive in 2028. It also revealed communications from Microsoft’s top execs — including one conversation from a joyous Phil Spencer to CEO Satya Nadella about the just-announced Sony PlayStation 5.

    That email is now available completely unredacted, so you can see just how confident Microsoft seemed in March 2020 right after the PS5 spec reveal.

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  • It’s too late to delete Microsoft’s secret Xbox docs.

    That hasn’t stopped the US District Court for the Northern District of California, though. After a massive leak of Microsoft’s Xbox roadmap earlier today, the District Court has now deleted all of the evidence in the FTC v. Microsoft case from its website. The FTC has also made it clear this leak was Microsoft’s mistake. Oops.

  • Apparently, last night’s major Xbox leak was Microsoft’s fault.

    That’s what the FTC says, anyway. As reported by NBC News:

    Douglas Farrar, director of the FTC’s office of public affairs, told NBC News that “Microsoft was responsible for the error in uploading these documents to the court.”

    That goes a step beyond Farrar’s post on X that said that the FTC was not responsible for the leak.

  • A lesson in not counting your tadpoles before they’ve hatched.

    When Microsoft was considering future release titles to bring to Game Pass last May, Larian’s hit CRPG Baldur’s Gate 3 barely made the list. The game was described as a “Second-run Stadia PC RPG” in leaked emails from the FTC v. Microsoft case.

    The explosive overnight popularity of Baldur’s Gate 3 must be pretty embarrassing in hindsight, especially given its absence on Xbox.

  • Phil Spencer gets real about gaming studio closures.

    It’s not about profits. When asked if Game Pass could have prevented studio closures in a leaked email from the FTC v. Microsoft case, the Microsoft Gaming CEO said that closures are “almost always” because of “leadership leaving (Lionhead as an example) or team just losing its passion (Ensemble as an example).”

    A screenshot taken from emails leaked in the FTC v. Microsoft case.
    ‘I swear. I’m just super worried about the moat you’ve built, that the winds will change and we have a bloodbath a few years down the road.’
    Image: FTC v. Microsoft
  • Microsoft’s next Xbox, coming 2028, envisions hybrid computing

    Microsoft’s new disc-less Xbox Series X is far from the only news that just leaked out of the FTC v. Microsoft case. The documents may also reveal Microsoft’s far future plans for 2028 — by which the company believed it could achieve “full convergence” of its cloud gaming platform and physical hardware to deliver “cloud hybrid games.”

    “Our vision: 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.”

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  • Microsoft’s Phil Spencer says acquiring Nintendo would be ‘a career moment’

    XBox Spencer lede
    Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer.

    Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer would really like to buy Nintendo someday. In an August 2020 email to two top Microsoft marketing executives, Spencer wrote that “Nintendo is THE prime asset for us in Gaming” and that “getting Nintendo would be a career moment and I honestly believe a good move for both companies.”

    The emails were revealed as part of a tranche of leaked documents from the FTC v. Microsoft lawsuit. One executive, Takeshi Numoto, asked Spencer and Chris Capossela in an email titled “random thought” about why Microsoft isn’t finding acquisition targets like Nintendo a “more attractive” way to “increase our consumer exposure and relevance.” (At the time, Microsoft was in discussions to acquire TikTok, and Numoto didn’t feel it would be the best match.)

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  • Microsoft documents leak new Bethesda games, including an Oblivion remaster

    A screenshot from the original Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
    A screenshot from the original Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
    Image: Bethesda Softworks

    Before it was acquired by Microsoft, ZeniMax Media, the parent company of studios like Bethesda Game Studios and id Software, was working on remasters of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, and a new entry in the Doom franchise, according to new documents revealed as part of FTC v. Microsoft. The games were included in a July 2020 Microsoft presentation about the then-potential ZeniMax acquisition.

    Unannounced games in the presentation include:

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  • This is Microsoft’s new disc-less Xbox Series X design with a lift-to-wake controller

    The planned ‘Brooklin’ Xbox Series X.
    The planned ‘Brooklin’ Xbox Series X.
    Image: FTC vs. Microsoft

    Microsoft is planning to refresh its Xbox Series X console in 2024 with an all-new design and features. Codenamed Brooklin, the unannounced console refresh has been accidentally revealed in new FTC v. Microsoft documents this week.

    The new Xbox Series X design looks a lot more cylindrical than the existing console and will ship without a disc drive. Internal confidential Microsoft documents reveal it has 2TB of storage (up from 1TB), a USB-C front port with power delivery, and an “all-new, more immersive controller.”

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