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Microsoft Axes AI-Enhanced Xbox Series S Refresh in Favor of Standard Hardware Upgrade

AI-powered Xbox S upgrade scrapped due to tech issues. New Xbox S "Ellewood" with 1TB storage coming soon for $299.


According to recent reports, Microsoft has decided not to proceed with a proposed enhanced version of the Xbox Series S, which was slated to boast significant artificial intelligence (AI) and upscaling capabilities. RedGamingTech, a YouTuber with a history of accurate Xbox-related insights, revealed that the scrapped project aimed to equip the console with an RDNA 3-based GPU, additional RAM, and advanced machine learning functionalities.

The updated console’s APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), however, reportedly faced technical issues, compelling Microsoft to reconsider the launch. The enhanced features would have elevated the console’s performance closer to that of the Xbox Series X, potentially complicating Microsoft’s product lineup from a marketing standpoint.

New Version Scheduled for Release

Despite shelving the AI-enhanced model, Microsoft is proceeding with the introduction of a new Xbox Series S variant, codenamed Ellewood. Scheduled for release within the year, Ellewood will not embody the ambitious upgrades of its canceled counterpart. Instead, it will offer expanded storage capacity, with a 1TB version priced at approximately $299. This development was shared during the recent Xbox Business Update event, during which Microsoft also teased the impending announcement of a next-generation Xbox console. Enthusiasm is high, with promises of unprecedented technological advancements in gaming console history.

Looking Ahead: The Next-Generation Xbox

Speculation is rife about the features of the next-generation Xbox, especially around its AI capabilities. Recent updates to Windows 11, including the introduction of Auto Super Resolution, hint at the potential direction of Microsoft’s console development. AI, with its capacity to significantly enhance gaming experiences, sits at the forefront of these discussions. Additionally, the forthcoming 24H2 patch for Windows 11 is set to integrate support for the new NPU (Neural Processing Unit), due for release this summer, suggesting a possible NPU inclusion in the next-gen Xbox console. As the industry awaits further details, the integration of advanced processing units and AI technology remains a focal point of anticipation for Microsoft’s gaming future.

In summary, while the highly anticipated AI-enriched Xbox Series S refresh will not see the light of day, Microsoft’s commitment to advancing its gaming technology remains undiminished. With Ellewood on the horizon and tantalizing hints at a groundbreaking next-gen console, the future of Xbox holds excitement and innovation in equal measure.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.