Rumour | Microsoft could launch an upgraded Xbox Series S in 2022; Xbox Series X to follow suit in 2023
Both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series S|X are due for a mid-recycle refresh if the YouTuber Moore's Law is Dead is to be believed. Rumours about an upgraded PS5 have been around for quite some time now, with one suggesting that it could feature a dual-GPU configuration. It is slated for a late-2023 release and will apparently cost between US$600-700. Not a whole lot is mentioned about its innards other than the fact that it could up the CU count, TDP and use newer Zen cores.
Microsoft's alleged Xbox Series S refresh is expected to drop around the same time. Among other things, it will be powered by a new APU based on TSMC's 6N node, which is essentially an improved version of the 7nm node. This, in turn, will allow Microsoft to squeeze more power out of the RDNA2-based silicon and even re-enable some CUs.
However, it is also plausible that Microsoft will upgrade to the RDNA3 architecture, considering that it will have been mainstream by the time the alleged Xbox Series S refresh is due. Whether or not this new Xbox Series S iteration will be able to pull off 4K gaming remains to be seen. The ability to play games at 1440p, 120 FPS with raytracing enabled will also suffice. Additional storage would be nice, too.
So, what happens to the existing Xbox Series S? It turns out that Microsoft will still sell it at a discount for around US$250. On the other hand, the 'new' Xbox Series S will allegedly sell for US$350. Tom also speculates an Xbox Series X upgrade in the pipeline but doesn't tell us much about it other than the fact that it is due in 2023. If the rumour turns out to be accurate and Microsoft doesn't discontinue SKUs along the way, gamers will be able to choose between four Xbox consoles from the same generation.
Tom has had an impressive track record for hardware-related leaks; however, we should treat this information with a healthy dose of scepticism. Microsoft's track record with the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X tells us that the company has no qualms refreshing its hardware every few years. However, those were in simpler times when silicon was abundant.
The global chip shortage isn't going away anytime soon. Microsoft is hard-pressed to source silicon for its existing consoles as it is, so one can't help but wonder where the additional supply for two new SKUs will come from. In conclusion, Microsoft could very well launch new versions of the Xbox Series S|X, but the 2022-23 timeline seems a bit dodgy.