A massive leak from the FTC v. Microsoft court battle showed Microsoft’s roadmap for a mid-generation Xbox Series X console, but that wasn’t the only news. The same document also revealed Microsoft’s tentative plans for the next-generation Xbox — what it calls a “hybrid game platform.” The system would combine local hardware and cloud computing to create an “immersive game & app platform” arriving around 2028, according to a leaked May 2022 presentation hidden inside another PDF.
“Our vision: 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,” one of the slides reads. “Optimized for real time game play and creators, we will enable new levels of performance beyond the capabilities of the client hardware alone.” In a slide, Microsoft projects the next gen arriving in 2028 with “cloud hybrid games” and an “immersive game & app platform.”
On the hardware side, Microsoft foresees things like next-gen DirectX raytracing, dynamic global illumination, ML based super resolution, micropolygon rendering optimization and more. The system could allow for different types of devices, ranging from relatively powerful consoles to “Thin OS… $99 consumer or handheld devices” that rely on xCloud computing.
“Hybrid compute” would presumably differ from regular cloud gaming by using hardware and cloud computing to display in-game elements simultaneously. For instance, primary characters would run on your local GPU, while NPCs, background elements and more would be generated remotely.
Microsoft also sees heavy use of AI and machine learning (ML) in next-gen gaming. From a performance vantage, neural networks would power super resolution, frame rate interpretation and latency compensation, for instance. They would improve game experiences (AI agents, codex, matchmaking, player ranking) and player services (safety & toxicity,…
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