Xbox Series S Upgrade With AI Features Was Reportedly Planned By Microsoft

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Cancelled After Fears of Console SKU Saturation!

Story Highlights
  • An insider claims upgrades for Xbox Series S|X consoles were once in development by Microsoft.
  • The Xbox Series S was set to receive a noticeable upgrade, including an RDNA 3 GPU and more memory.
  • Plans were scrapped due to fears of too many console variants.

The Xbox Series S|X have failed to make a noticeable dent in the PlayStation 5’s console gaming market share, and the budget offering, in particular, has received criticism for being hard to work with.

Xbox has also dispelled rumors of a potential mid-gen refresh for these consoles despite the impending release of the PS5 Pro. However, a source claims such consoles were once in the works, but Microsoft chose to cancel them mid-development.

Why it matters: The leak sounds reasonable since Microsoft has been aware of the challenges associated with the limited memory and hardware of the Xbox Series S.

YouTube video

According to RedGamingTech, Xbox was planning a hardware refresh for both of their existing consoles. However, the refreshed Series X was canceled much earlier in planning, followed by the Series S.

The latter would have come with an RDNA 3 GPU, more RAM, and a bump to overall specifications. Perhaps the most notable inclusion would be machine learning, giving the console more room to handle technologies beyond its capabilities.

With the popularity of DLSS and PlayStation’s rumored machine-learning technology for the PS5 Pro, this upgrade would have greatly benefited the Xbox Series S to compete against Sony.

According to the report, Microsoft later canceled this project due to fears of SKU saturation in the market. The gaming giant could not figure out how to work with two budget models at the same time, abandoning the idea of a refresh altogether.

It would also be inferior to the Xbox Series X, putting this refresh in a difficult position. Ultimately, Microsoft decided against this approach because of such challenges.

Xbox Series S|X Controller
Xbox Series S|X Can Support Last-Gen Controllers

Looking at the current performance of the Xbox Series S, this refresh would have helped Microsoft, but the base console would remain the lowest common denominator for the developers.

Therefore, it would not address the core criticisms of the budget hardware.

Sources state plans were abandoned before the APU was properly designed. Nonetheless, Microsoft is now focused on a next-gen console, teasing the biggest technical leap ever seen in console gaming.

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