Microsoft’s Vision for Hybrid Gaming: The Future of Xbox in 2028

Hey there, my tech-loving followers! It’s your favorite funny guy, Nuked, here to bring you some exciting news from Microsoft. Get ready to dive into the future of gaming as we explore Microsoft’s plans for their next Xbox, set to arrive in 2028.

But hold on, that’s not all! The recent leak from the FTC v. Microsoft case has revealed more than just the disc-less Xbox Series X. It seems that Microsoft has big dreams for the year 2028, aiming to achieve “full convergence” of their cloud gaming platform and physical hardware to deliver what they call “cloud hybrid games.”

In a leaked presentation titled “The Next Generation of Gaming at Microsoft,” one slide caught our attention. It boldly states, “Our vision: develop a next-generation hybrid game platform capable of leveraging the combined power of the client and cloud.” Imagine playing games using a sub-$99 gadget, maybe even a handheld device, while simultaneously utilizing Microsoft’s xCloud platform. Sounds pretty cool, right?

This idea isn’t entirely new to me. Back in June 2021, I actually advocated for this concept, pointing out how Microsoft had a golden opportunity to create games that seamlessly transition between native hardware and the cloud. They’ve already dabbled in this space with games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, where they streamed photorealistic scenery from the cloud. And let’s not forget that amazing Amazon demo from 2014 with those epic Lord of the Rings-like armies that lived in the cloud.

Now, in these leaked documents, Microsoft refers to this concept as “Cohesive Hybrid Compute” — a fancy term for a “Cloud-to-Edge architecture across Silicon, Graphics, and OS enabling ubiquitous play.” If this is indeed happening, it may already be in motion. The team suggests partnering with AMD for the silicon, potentially using their Navi 5 graphics and Zen 6 CPU cores, along with considering Arm. They also mention the need for an NPU (machine learning AI coprocessor) to enhance various aspects of gaming.

The leaked documents outline a potential roadmap for this technology, starting with hardware design in 2024 and the arrival of dev kits in 2027. The first hybrid cloud games would then be produced from 2024 to 2026. However, it’s important to note that these plans might have changed or been abandoned, just like Microsoft’s previous idea of a “dedicated xCloud SKU.”

According to the leaked documents, this ambitious pitch came from discussions among Microsoft’s top leadership, including CEO Satya Nadella, Xbox boss Phil Spencer, Windows devices and operating system leader Panos Panay, xCloud CVP Kareem Choudhry, and more. Nadella himself wrote, “We are building 4 types of computers: (1) cloud everything, (2) a hybrid Xbox, (3) hybrid Windows, and (4) hybrid HoloLens. We need to bring the company’s systems talent together to align on a unified vision.”

It’s clear that Microsoft is increasingly recognizing the importance of “cloud-first” gaming. They recently hired Kim Swift, a former Google Stadia design director known for her work on Valve’s Portal, to lead a team focused on cloud-native games. And let’s not forget that Sony also made moves in this direction by hiring Jade Raymond from Stadia to work on their own cloud gaming technology.

So there you have it, my tech-loving friends! Microsoft has some exciting plans in store for the future of gaming. Get ready for a hybrid gaming experience that combines the power of the client and the cloud. It’s going to be a wild ride!

Leave your thoughts and comments below. I’d love to hear what you think about Microsoft’s vision for cloud hybrid games.

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Written by Nuked

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