Unredacted documents from the ongoing legal battle between the Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft leaked on Tuesday, uncovering a trove of internal communications about the company’s business, future plans for Xbox hardware and other potential acquisition targets for the gaming platform.
The documents, which appear to have now been removed from the Northern District of California’s website, showed Microsoft is preparing to release a new version of its Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, along with a redesigned Xbox controller.
A new version of the flagship Xbox Series X console, codenamed “Brooklin”, is set to release sometime in 2024 priced at $499 and it will drop the current version’s disc drive while increasing the onboard storage size from 1TB to 2TB, according to the documents.
The unredacted documents also showed off the new Xbox controller codenamed “Sebile” which is slated to bring long-requested features like motion controls and “haptic feedback”—as seen on the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Switch Controllers.
A major revelation from the filing highlights internal communication from 2020 at the company where a potential acquisition of Mario-maker Nintendo, PC gaming giant Valve and Warner Bros’ gaming arm were discussed.
The discussion about potentially acquiring Nintendo, one of Microsoft’s two chief rivals in the console gaming space alongside Sony, took place in an internal email chain in August 2020 between Microsoft's current chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, commercial chief marketing officer Takeshi Numoto and Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Spencer wrote that “Nintendo is THE prime asset for us in Gaming and today Gaming is our most likely path to consumer relevance.” Spencer mentions that Microsoft is in the best position to acquire Nintendo among all U.S. companies but laments “unfortunate (or fortunate for Nintendo) situation is that Nintendo is sitting on a big pile of cash.”
Later in the email chain Spencer wrote: “At some point, getting Nintendo would be a career moment and I honestly believe a good move for both companies. It's just taking a long time for Nintendo to see that their future exists off of their own hardware. A long time.... :-).”
Despite Spencer questioning Nintendo’s future with hardware, the Nintendo Switch has sold more than 129 million units so far, making it the third most successful console of all time after the Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS. In comparison, the last generation Xbox One sold around 58 million units and the current Xbox Series S and X have sold slightly more than 21 million units.
Microsoft Nintendo acquisition hopes revealed by leaked Xbox exec email (Rock Paper Shotgun)