Challenging PlayStation: Can Microsoft Surface-Powered Xbox Close the Gap?

A new report suggests that Xbox is handing over control to the team behind Microsoft Surface, tasking them with creating the next-gen console, reports Nick Baker

by Sededin Dedovic
Challenging PlayStation: Can Microsoft Surface-Powered Xbox Close the Gap?
© Simple Alpaca / Youtube channel

While recent speculation pointed to a dark end for Xbox's hardware division, new reports reveal a radical shift in strategy. Instead of developing the future console in-house, Microsoft is entrusting the helm to the team behind the popular Microsoft Surface line of devices.

The move signals a significant departure from past approaches and potentially opens new chapters for Xbox. They had to do something because the PS5 simply dominated the last xbox console and it's starting to be a "dead race".

Analyst Nick Baker first broke the news, stating that Microsoft is no longer working with Jason Ronaldo, the longtime leader of the Xbox Series S|X hardware team, on next-gen development. Ronaldo's departure, after more than two decades at Microsoft, clearly speaks to the seriousness of the change.

Entrusting responsibility to the Surface team is potentially a turning point. Xbox has led an internal hardware battle for the past two console generations, and although the Xbox Series X is technically more powerful than the PS5, many developers emphasize the superiority of the PlayStation's design - which is also reflected in its commercial success.

The PS5 sold almost twice as many units as the Series X|S. The move could mark a departure from the AMD chipsets that powered the Xbox One and Series X|S, and also opens the door to the ARM architecture that Surface devices already use.

The ARM platform offers potentially lower power consumption and better integration with the mobile ecosystem, which could suit Microsoft's portable gaming ambitions. Rumors further claim that two new consoles are planned for 2026: a powerful home console and a portable console directed by the Surface team.

This would be Xbox's first attempt to simultaneously launch a next-generation home and portable console, which could significantly strengthen their market position. Although it is premature to give definitive conclusions, this move by Microsoft carries the potential for significant changes in the gaming world.

Entrusting the future of Xbox to the Surface team is an unconventional but potentially hugely innovative approach. If the Surface team manages to use its design and engineering experience in the field of consoles, we can expect hardware that is not only powerful but also efficient, friendly to developers and attractive to gamers.

The key questions, of course, are how developers will react to the potentially new architecture and whether a portable console will be able to compete competitively with the Switch or Steam Deck. We will have to wait until 2026 for those answers, but one thing is certain: Xbox has taken a new, ambitious path, and Sony PS5 definitely forced it to do so.

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