Intel is battling to supply APUs for new Xbox


Amid uncertainty about the next Xbox, Intel would be fighting to take over the supply of APUs for the new generation of consoles. The company already equipped the first Xbox model in 1999 with a modified version of the Pentium III “Coppermine”, and the potential of new APUs with Meteor Lake and projections for Lunar Lake would have once again put the Blue Team on Microsoft’s radar.

Recently, industry sources have confirmed that the department led by Phil Spencer has not yet concluded negotiations for the new Xbox, and has even canceled the Brooklin and Ellewood projects, refreshes of the Xbox Series X and Series S scheduled for 2024. Furthermore, the Xbox would also have brought forward the launch of the new generation from 2028 to 2026, with a table version and a portable model, in the same pattern as the Nintendo Switch.

Xbox no time to waste

According to documents leaked in 2023, the original project for the new Xbox would only arrive in 2028, with a significant leap in architecture, going from Zen 2 and RDNA 2, to Zen 6 and RDNA 5. The intention until then was to extend its useful life of the current generation with even more robust Series X and S models, scheduled to arrive in 2024.

However, the current internal restructuring movement of Microsoft’s gaming division fatally impacts the company’s hardware strategy. So much so, they would have canceled the refreshes that would arrive in 2024 and brought forward the new generation to 2026, with a complete model and a laptop.

The biggest problem with this new approach, if it is actually confirmed, is that there would not be enough time for Microsoft to wait for the launch of the new AMD architectures, both scheduled to hit the market only between the end of 2025 and the beginning of 2026. As a result, Phil Spencer’s team would need to settle for Zen 5 and RDNA 4 or look for another supplier.

Intel has already confirmed that the first APUs with Lunar Lake and Arc Battlemage integrated graphics will be launched in late 2024, with performance up to 3 times better than the already impressive Meteor Lake with Arc Alchemist. Therefore, Intel’s new silicon would be a very strong candidate to accommodate Microsoft’s new agenda.

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