- Microsoft is rumored to have reassigned the task of designing the next-gen Xbox console to its Surface division.
- Recent reports suggested that the next Xbox console generation will once again include two devices, one of which is said to be either portable or hybrid, like the Switch.
- Recent rumors about the handheld console’s feature set have been contradictory.
The next-gen Xbox console may not be designed by the team behind the Series X, with one industry insider claiming that the project has been reassigned to Microsoft’s Surface division. The purported move implies that the next Xbox console could be released much later than the PS6, depending on how close to the drawing board the project returned as a result of the design team switch.
Microsoft’s current-generation console hasn’t been doing too well relative to the PS5, and the worst may be yet to come, as the Redmond-based tech giant expects Xbox hardware sales to keep declining over the course of 2024. While the company stopped reporting its concrete console sales figures in 2015, it broke its radio silence on that front in mid-2023, when it revealed that the Xbox Series X and Series S sold a combined total of 21 million units, roughly half of what the PS5 had achieved at the time.
Leaker Gives Update on Next-Gen Xbox Console
A prominent technology YouTuber, podcaster, and leaker claims to have inside information regarding the status of Xbox’s next-gen console.
Series X Design Lead Is Reportedly No Longer In Charge of Next-Gen Xbox Console
It would appear that the company opted to shake up its console department as a result of those challenges, as implied by a recent claim from industry insider Nick Baker. During the February 10 episode of The XboxEra Podcast (around the 1:57:45 mark), Baker said he heard that Microsoft had reassigned the task of designing the next-gen Xbox console to the Surface team. The project was previously led by Jason Ronald, Microsoft’s VP of Xbox gaming devices and ecosystem. Over the course of his 17-year stint at the company that’s still ongoing, Ronald also helmed the development of the Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One X.
An Xbox Console From the Surface Team Could Make Sense
Even if the Series X was selling much better than it currently is, the notion of Microsoft assigning its successor to the Surface team would not be completely out of the left field if the recent rumor suggesting an Xbox handheld console is in the works has any truth to it. After all, high-performance portable devices are precisely what the Surface division specializes in. Whether such a radical paradigm shift would even be on the cards if the current-generation console was doing well is a different matter.
Recent Xbox Handheld Rumors Have Been Contradictory
Baker’s latest podcast appearance also saw him reflect on those handheld rumors, the latest of which was started by the Xbox News Cast Podcast, specifically by its co-host MAGG. To that end, the insider said he couldn’t vouch for the veracity of the original report but claimed he was fed similar information from a source who assured him he was not the one behind MAGG’s purported leak. But while the first report implied the handheld would be cheaper and less powerful than the next-gen Xbox, essentially serving as the Series S successor, Baker’s source claimed it would have identical specs and be more expensive.
Given the recent influx of Microsoft leaks, there is always a chance that the company is currently trying to run a tighter ship by feeding various departments slightly different information and seeing whose version of the story emerges online. A broken telephone effect would be another, less conspiratorial explanation for the contradictory Xbox handheld rumors, assuming all of them come from credible sources and have been accurately reported. Looking at the slightly bigger picture, this development at least aligns with a recent report that Microsoft just assured its employees it would keep making Xbox hardware.
Xbox Series S
Released alongside the Xbox Series X, the Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s budget option for the ninth console generation. Designed exclusively for digital gaming, the Series S can run the same games as the Series X, albeit at a potentially lower resolution and frame rate.
- Original Release Date
- November 10, 2020
- Original MSRP (USD)
- 4.25 LBS