Next year we're getting an Xbox Series X without a disc drive, but in 2028 we're getting an Xbox console that requires the cloud to run games.
As IGN reports, the FTC v. Microsoft documents leak has revealed Microsoft's plans for the next generation of console hardware. We don't have a name for the console yet, but it's expected to launch in 2028. The bad news, depending on your viewpoint, is this new machine will require an Internet connection to play games.
One of the leaked slides explains Microsoft's vision as follows:
"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."
What Microsoft describes builds on what we have today from services such as GeForce Now, which offers access to high-end GPUs to stream games to lower performance hardware. Microsoft is taking that a step further it seems, by utilizing high performance hardware, but enhancing it further with additional performance from the cloud.
In another slide it refers to such experiences as "Cloud Hybrid Games," and it allows Microsoft to sell the need for an always-connected console as necessary otherwise the gaming experience wouldn't be possible.
Guessing as to the hardware used in a new console five years from now is difficult, but Microsoft gives us a few hints by referencing an ARM64 CPU and GPU, next-gen DirectX ray tracing, dynamic global illumination, micropolygon rendering optimizations, and machine learning-based super resolution.
There is also mention of sub $99 handheldRead more on pcmag.com