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Digital-only Xbox Series X reportedly launching “June or July” this year

Microsoft is reportedly preparing to launch a new white, digital-only version of its top-end Xbox Series X console in “June or July” this year.

An “adorably all-digital” Xbox Series X refresh, planned for a 2024 release, first surfaced as part of a mammoth leak of official Microsoft documentation during last year’s court battle with the FTC. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer later insisted “so much has changed” since many of the plans detailed in the leak had been drawn up, leaving the all-digital console’s future uncertain.

Now, however, reliable eXtas1s (writing for Exputer) has claimed that not only are those all-digital Xbox Series X plans still on, the console is set to release “sometime between the upcoming months of June and July, but there are chances for a slight delay”.

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According to eXtas1s, this new digital-only Xbox Series X will, as well as jettisoning the optical disc drive of the original model, feature an improved heatsink and upgraded Nexus card. Its also claimed the revision will be white in an inversion of the current Series X, but it sounds like the console’s existing form factor will remain the same.

Last year’s leak pointed to an all-digital Xbox Series X, codenamed Brooklin, with a entirely new cylindrical design, a front-facing USB-C slot, improved wi-fi, a refreshed controller, and decreased power draw – which sounds like a very different proposition to the console revision now being reported on.

That earlier design had prompted fears Microsoft could be gearing up to ditch physical media all together – a fear only compounded when it was recently reported the company’s decision to lay off 1900 people in January had hit its games retail teams heavily. However, Phil Spencer recently insisted Microsoft remained “supportive of physical media” but that Xbox’s job was to “deliver on the things that a majority of the customers want. And right now, a majority of our customers are buying games digitally.”

Of course, today’s reports of a new digital-only Xbox Series X release this summer don’t mean much until Microsoft makes any such console official. Interestingly though, the company did recently confirm it would have more Xbox hardware news to share this year – although the suggestion was nothing would be revealed until this “holiday” season, a timeframe which obvious doesn’t align with a possible June-July console refresh release window.

That announcement arrived alongside confirmation Microsoft would, as heavily rumoured, be releasing four previously Xbox-exclusive first-party games – now known to be Sea of Thieves, Pentiment, Grounded, and Hi-Fi Rush – across PlayStation 5 and Switch this year. It also teased that work on its next Xbox was already underway – in a move presumably intended to assuage fan fears it might be considering abandoning the console market following its multiplatform news – insisting that it would deliver “the largest technical leap…ever seen in a hardware generation.”

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