Recently revealed documents from the opening of Microsoft's trial with the FTC over the Activision Blizzard acquisition have revealed the developer's expected window for next-gen consoles. The high-profile acquisition of the Call of Duty developer by Microsoft has been one of the biggest headlines in gaming throughout recent years with Microsoft reportedly paying nearly $70 billion. Though the announcement made waves at the time, the deal has run into its fair share of roadblocks including opposition from some world governments. Now, a surprising reveal has come out of the Microsoft vs. FTC trial.
While no official announcement has been made regarding a speculative PlayStation 6 or new Xbox console, rumors have already begun to float around about the new consoles. Leaks shared earlier this year have suggested Sony could potentially already be working on a successor to the massively popular PlayStation 5. Fans and industry insiders have also heavily speculated Nintendo may be working on a Switch 2 with the handheld-home console hybrid standing as the oldest current-gen console. Now, recent statements from Microsoft have shown the future is on the company's mind.
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Discovered among court documents from the beginnings of the Microsoft-FTC proceedings, Microsoft's legal team revealed when it expects the next console generation to begin. Microsoft would reveal it currently expects the next console generation to begin within the "2028" window, giving current-gen consoles another five years in the spotlight. The speculated launch window would place the PS6 and next Xbox console arriving roughly eight years after the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S debuted in late 2020. The recent trial is the newest entry in a saga of legal conflicts over the Activision Blizzard deal.
The newly initiated court proceedings come as Sony, Microsoft's main competitor, has already expressed major concern over the impending deal. Sony's deal to bring the massively popular Call of Duty franchise to PlayStation consoles is currently set to expire in 2024, according to Microsoft president Brad Smith. While Sony has received a new offer from Microsoft to keep Call of Duty games on the PS5, the PlayStation developer has heavily criticized the offer, believing it will harm competition between the consoles.
While Microsoft expects itself and Sony will launch new consoles by 2028, gaming's third major hardware developer may have more expedited launch plans for its next console. The Nintendo Switch launched as the earliest console of its generation, debuting three years prior to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2017. With Nintendo already releasing a hardware revision in the OLED Switch, developers like Ubisoft have revealed plans for the Switch's successor. While the next generation of consoles is still several years away, Microsoft and Sony are surely already planning for those future launches.
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