Microsoft to Launch New Console Generation in 2026: Featuring NPU for Accelerated AI Capabilities

Microsoft to Launch New Console Generation in 2026: Featuring NPU for Accelerated AI Capabilities

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Microsoft lanzaría su nueva generación de consolas en el año 2026: NPU incluida para acelerar la IA

The Xbox Series X and Series S consoles have not been performing well, and Microsoft is planning a radical move: advancing its new generation of consoles. Thanks to the leaked Microsoft documents with the Federal Trade Commission regarding the purchase of Activision Blizzard, it has been revealed that Microsoft was preparing its new Xbox consoles for 2028. However, recent rumors suggest that this date might be moved forward.

The documents indicated that by 2024, we would have an improved version of the current consoles. Interestingly, 2024 is the year when the launch of a new pair of consoles is expected, including the PlayStation 5 Pro and the new Nintendo Switch. Microsoft may have canceled this plan to release a new generation of consoles two years later, shortening the lifespan of its 9th generation Xbox consoles to 6 years, which is 2 years less than usual. This also implies outperforming Sony with much more disruptive technology.

Entirely new Xbox consoles will arrive in 2026

The information comes from Jeff Grubb, a reporter for Giant Bomb. According to him, sources related to PlayStation leaks indicated that in 2026 we would have at least one new generation Xbox console. Specifically, Microsoft would have erased all existing plans, and its new plan is to launch a new generation of consoles by 2026.

Regarding hardware, it is known that the future console will place a strong emphasis on AI acceleration.

Of course, it is too early to talk about possible performance or the hardware that would be used. If released in 2026, the console would use hardware from 2025 at the earliest. This would imply a leap from the current AMD Zen 2 architecture to Zen 6, or perhaps an intermediate option like Zen 5.

In terms of graphics, which matter most, we can expect at least a graphics architecture based on RDNA 5 or 6. This would mean a significant jump in performance and related technologies such as Ray Tracing, resolution scaling, and even a frame generator. Not to mention future technologies announced by AMD from now until then. Though, of course, this is about 2026, and it is unknown if Xbox will continue working with AMD or seek another option that allows it to offer some advancements over its competition.

On the other hand, there are reports that the future Microsoft console will have an NPU, a co-processor designed to accelerate AI. The recently released AMD Ryzen 8040 Series and Intel Core Ultra laptops both feature an NPU.

Additionally, earlier this month, it was announced that Xbox has partnered with AI startup Inworld. The collaboration between the two companies will result in much smarter and more realistic NPCs backed by AI. Therefore, it makes sense that the console includes an NPU to handle NPC intelligence, among other workloads.

Even official Microsoft reports showed that they considered an ARM-based CPU. The company will continue its trend of offering two consoles, but this information is still interesting. If Xbox is indeed preparing a console, or more, for 2026, we will find out soon.

The Xbox Series X and Series S began leaking years before, and it seems that this is happening again. Specifically, the leaks already hinted at the launch of 3 consoles: the Series X, Series S, and the canceled “mini console” focused solely on playing Game Pass from the cloud.

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