Yesterday, a trove of internal Microsoft documents leaked online, offering a stunning glimpse at Xbox's plans for the future. These documents include information about the company's next console release, desired acquisitions, and more. The documents made their way to the public thanks to the FTC v Microsoft case, and the FTC has since addressed the situation. Douglas Farrar of the FTC Tweeted out that "the FTC was not responsible for uploading Microsoft's plans for its games and consoles to the court website" before providing evidence that the mistake was on the part of Microsoft. The documents were removed from the court's website, but it was too late.
Tweets from Farrar about the Xbox leak can be found embedded below.
The judge just posted this order related to the accidental publication of Microsoft documents. pic.twitter.com/1nShLKrYbD— Douglas Farrar (@DouglasLFarrar) September 19, 2023
Xbox's Acquisition Goals
One of the most interesting reveals from the leak is that Xbox still has an interest in purchasing Nintendo. The company had a meeting with Nintendo prior to the release of the original Xbox about a potential acquisition. According to comments made last year by Kevin Bachus, Microsoft's former director of third-party relations, Nintendo "just laughed their asses off" about the offer. Clearly, Microsoft hasn't stopped thinking about the possibility, as a newly leaked email shows Phil Spencer calling Nintendo "THE prime asset for us in Gaming" noting that a purchase of the company would be a "career moment."
Nintendo has long been known for its "war chest" of funds, which will allow the company to continue to thrive even during tough times. Spencer addressed that in his email as one of the biggest hurdles, as well as Nintendo's own disinterest. Instead, the company looked at ZeniMax (which it landed on) as well as WB Games.
New Xbox Console
One of the biggest secrets in gaming is when a company plans to release a new console. The documents in the recent leak reveal a potential window for a mid-gen refresh for the Xbox Series X, which would arrive in October 2024. An all-digital system, the new model will apparently launch alongside a new controller with several improvements. These will include things like haptic feedback, an accelerometer, and thumbsticks that are a bit quieter. Meanwhile, the company's next system after that is apparently planned for 2028.
All in all, it's easy to see why Microsoft would be unhappy with these leaks! As outlined in the court notes provided by Farrar, these were never meant to be seen by the public. Plans are constantly changing in the video game industry, and we have no way of knowing whether this new Xbox model and its controller will ever see release, or if the successor to the Xbox Series X will actually release in 2028. However, Microsoft would love nothing more than to put the genie back in the bottle. The company has not addressed these leaks as of this writing, and it's unclear if we'll see any kind of public statement about them anytime soon.
Related Forum: Xbox Forum