Next-gen Xbox coming in 2026, may have dedicated AI acceleration via NPU processor

Microsoft's next-gen Xbox console is reportedly coming in 2026, and it could feature dedicated AI accelerators to optimize a multitude of tasks & features.

3 minutes & 2 seconds read time

Microsoft plans to release a next-gen Xbox console by 2026, new unverified rumors and reports claim.

Next-gen Xbox coming in 2026, may have dedicated AI acceleration via NPU processor 1

Accidental document leaks from the FTC v Microsoft trial put a next-gen Xbox release in November 2028, however new rumors say that a new Xbox console is coming in 2026. This is a substantially reduced window and would cut the current Gen9 Xbox family to about 6 years, two of which were mostly constrained by chip shortages. It's worth mentioning that this document was published in May 2022 and a lot has likely changed since then.

The trial leaks also show that Microsoft was mulling over a potential mid-cycle Xbox Series X refresh set to launch sometime in late October of 2024. This console was codenamed "Brooklin" and would be a cylindrical, digital-only Series X. The documents also say that the mid-gen consoles (Ellewood, which is the 1TB Xbox Series S, and Brooklin, the aforementioned Series X refresh) have been funded.

Fast-forwarding to the new reports, the next-gen Xbox news comes by way of Giant Bomb reporter Jeff Grubb, who shared the info during a recent Game Mess Decides stream.

Exact sources for the rumor are unknown.

"There are rumors out there from someone who was part of leaking this stuff on the PlayStation side. But that person is now also saying that Xbox will have their own Xbox Next in 2026, whether that's the Pro or a full follow-up console," Grubb said.

"This leaker is saying that stuff is cancelled, and that they're going to do the Xbox Next faster than they would do otherwise. Maybe moving the start of the next generation by a couple of years."

If Microsoft is planning a next-gen Xbox console to release in late 2026, then it would be part of the FY26 timeline.

This would put any such next-gen plan smack dab in the middle of Microsoft's "Fairhaven vision," which is the name given to the hardware, content and services business strategy for Xbox's FY25-27 mid-gen scenario period.

As for hardware and capabilities, the new-gen Xbox may not just specifically prioritize raw power and instead be the first video games console built with key AI integration in mind. Microsoft has invested tremendous amounts of money into AI and its Copilot tech is helping revolutionize productivity. OEMs are teasing AI-based PCs, and AI chips are in high demand.

It's possible Microsoft's next-gen Xbox could feature dedicated onboard AI accelerators, potentially NPU (Neural Processing Unit) co-processors that work alongside a highly-customized SoC.

Other FTC v Microsoft trial leaks suggest that Microsoft could utilize an ARM64 CPU instead of an x64 CPU. The reason for this choice may be made with AI in mind. Another big reason why Microsoft would select this kind of chip is because of cloud compute--ARM is better suited for this kind of integration.

Microsoft could leverage AI and cloud tech to streamline various processes, including flexible and smart advertising--ads could become a big part of Xbox moving forward, as CFO Tim Stuart hints--as well as content creation tools that are used to make and publish user-generated content (think custom Minecraft skins that are sold on the marketplace).

No official details on any sort of next-gen Xbox or mid-cycle refresh have been announced outside of the 1TB Series S, and Xbox gaming CEO Phil Spencer has said the company has "no need" for a Xbox Pro upgrade.

Xbox & AI

Buy at Amazon

MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN 2 - PS5 Launch Edition

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 4/20/2024 at 12:15 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags