After a day of leaks comprising an all-digital Xbox Series X, an advanced controller, a "cloud-hybrid" console, fruitless Nintendo acquisition plans and some very mean words about Baldur's Gate 3, Xbox head Phil Spencer has spoken publicly — and semi-privately — about the situation for the first time.
On X, Spencer said, "It is hard to see our team's work shared in this way because so much has changed and there's so much to be excited about right now, and in the future." He added that the company "will share the real plans when we are ready."
We've seen the conversation around old emails and documents. It is hard to see our team's work shared in this way because so much has changed and there's so much to be excited about right now, and in the future. We will share the real plans when we are ready.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) September 19, 2023
In an internal memo sent to employees at Microsoft's gaming division, and published in full by The Verge, Spencer went further. The full note reads:
Today, several documents submitted in the court proceedings related to our proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard were unintentionally disclosed. I know this is disappointing, even if many of the documents are well over a year old and our plans have evolved.
I also know we all take the confidentiality of our plans and our partners’ information very seriously. This leak obviously is not us living up to that expectation. We will learn from what happened and be better going forward. We all put incredible amounts of passion and energy into our work, and this is never how we want that hard work to be shared with the community. That said, there’s so much more to be excited about, and when we’re ready, we’ll share the real plans with our players.
In closing, I appreciate all of the work that you pour into Team Xbox to surprise and delight our players. In the days and weeks ahead, let’s stay focused on what we can control: continuing the amazing success of Starfield, the upcoming launch of the incredible and accessible Forza Motorsport, and continuing to build games, services and devices that millions of players can enjoy.
Undoubtedly, it's been a long day for everyone at Xbox. Spencer is doing his best in both missives to downplay the significance of the leaked documents by suggesting that Xbox's hardware plans have changed since they were first internally shared in 2022. The original slides outline a plan to debut a disc-less, cylindrical, 2TB version of the Xbox Series X in 2024, as well as an updated controller with "precision haptic feedback" (like PlayStation's DualSense) and direct-to-cloud capabilities (like Stadia's controller). Looking even further ahead, the documents included plans for a 10th-gen Xbox console with a focus on "cloud-hybrid games," penciled in for a 2028 release.
Also, Spencer really wanted to buy Nintendo at one point, apparently (but it seems Microsoft is settling for Activision-Blizzard instead, which is how we ended up in this leaky mess to begin with). We've rounded up all the news from today's document dump right here.