Microsoft’s may be planning a mid-cycle refresh of the Xbox Series X, but plans are already afoot for the next-gen Xbox console. The unnamed machine will be headlined by “Cloud Hybrid Games”, according to the giant leak that laid bare much of the division’s future plans.
The leaked document – deriving from Microsoft’s battle with the United States’ Federal Trade Commission over the proposed Activision acquisition – explains the company’s plans to combine the power of the hardware with cloud infrastructure for an experience befitting the tenth generation of gaming machines.
As we learned yesterday, that console is due in 2028, but now we can clean a little more behind the major innovations Microsoft is planning.
In now-deleted slides published by the FTC (via Engadget), the firm calls it a “hybrid game platform” and speaks about how the integration of the online elements will result in deeper immersion and never-seen-before gaming experiences.
The document also speaks of a ML (machine learning) based super resolution setting, as well as next-gen DirectX-based ray-tracing. Neural networks would also be deployed to improve match making, rankings, player behaviour, personalisation, and loads more.
The slide reads: “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.
“Optimized for real time game play and creators, we will enable new levels of performance beyond the capabilities of the client hardware alone.” In a slide, Microsoft projects the next-gen console arriving in 2028 with “cloud hybrid games” and an “immersive game & app platform.”
This doesn’t explicitly state how the cloud will be involved, but it does suggest the online element might become essential to unlocking the best experiences.
Microsoft has, in year’s past, suffered blowback for its always-online plans, and indeed backed down from. However, if it plans to blend the advantages of the cloud with the best hardware, then those without access to the fastest connections risk being left behind.
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