Senior Entertainment Writer, Tech AdvisorSEP 20, 2023 10:15 am BST
Image: Dominic Preston / Foundry
On Tuesday 19 September, documents were leaked that included plans for mid-generation refreshes for both the Xbox Series X and S. This included the Series X getting an entire new shape and going disc-less.
The news was accidentally revealed in the FTC V. Microsoft documents. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has since commented on the rumours, suggesting that some of this information is out of date (the plans go all the way back to spring of last year), or not reflective of future plans going forward:
Therefore, the specs and dates that were leaked here may not be what we see from the final products. Regardless, we’ve rounded up the information we know so far about the possible Xbox refreshes. You can also look at similar articles we have for the PS5 Pro and Switch 2.
When will the Xbox Series X/S refreshes be released?
The leaked documents showed plans to release the new Series S in August 2024, with its big brother, the Series X, launching in October 2024. As we stated above, these dates may be inaccurate now.
If the timings are true, there’s a chance that they will officially be announced during Summer Game Fest 2024, as Xbox usually hosts its own showcase during this event.
How much will the Xbox Series X/S refreshes cost?
The leaked documents claim that the consoles will be the same price as the current versions, so $499 for the Series X and $299 for the Series S. The only prices mentioned were in USD.
If prices stay the same as the current UK consoles, then they should be priced at £479 and £249 respectively.
The price for the Series X is questionable, considering that it doesn’t have a disc drive. This may come as a disappointment to anyone who prefers their games in physical formats.
In addition, the timeline of the announcements also mentioned the possibility of more storage options coming between the second half of 2024 and the first half of 2025.
What will the Xbox Series X/S refreshes be called?
In the documents, the Series X is codenamed “Brooklin”, whilst the Series S is codenamed “Ellewood”. Of course, we don’t expect that these names will make it to market.
No other official names were mentioned for the consoles, so we just assume that they will still the called the Series X and Series S unless we hear otherwise.
What are the specs of the Xbox Series X refresh?
The leaks show the Xbox Series X with a brand-new cylindrical design – a stark contrast to the cuboid look of the current console.
This mid-life refresh will retain the 12-teraflop processor, 4K resolution and 16GB RAM. The storage of this console will be 2TB, double the amount of the standard Series X. The biggest change, of course, is that it will be digital only, just like the Series S. This may be a way for Microsoft to continue to push Game Pass, its monthly gaming subscription.
There will be a USB-C front port on the console, and the usual ‘X’ power button. There will also be two USB-A ports, Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2 and Xbox Wireless 2 support for the new controller that’s also on the way.
Microsoft highlighted sustainability improvements, including a new southbridge, a reduction of 15% in the PSU power, a new low-power standby mode which is 20% of the Series S’s current mode, a 6-nanometre die shrink and recyclable packaging.
What are the specs of the Xbox Series S refresh?
Outwardly, the Xbox Series S refresh has few changes. However, it will come with 1TB storage, which is twice as much as the current version. It will also come with Wi-Fi 6e and Bluetooth 5.2, and similar sustainability improvements as the new Series X, including a new southbridge, a new low-power standby mode and recyclable packaging.
Will there be a new controller with the Xbox Series X/S console refresh?
Microsoft also leaked a new two-tone controller (Cruella DeVille vibes, anyone?) that was listed as launching earlier than the consoles in May 2024. Again, take this date with a pinch of salt.
Codenamed ‘Sebile’, this controller has Xbox Wireless 2 technology and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity. It will come with a built-in accelerometer and VCA haptics that double as speakers, taking inspiration from the latest PlayStation DualSense controller. There are also new modular thumbsticks that should have improved longevity.
The buttons and thumbsticks should also be quieter to use, and it will have a rechargeable and swappable battery.
Hannah Cowton is a Senior Entertainment Writer at Tech Advisor and Macworld, working across entertainment, consumer technology and lifestyle. Her interests and specialities lie in streaming services, film and television reviews and rumours, gaming, wearables and smart home products. She's also the creator of The London Geek, a geek culture and lifestyle blog.