Beyond Zen: Intel Plots Xbox Upset with Next-Gen “All American” SoC

In September last year, court documents related to the United States Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard inadvertently revealed Microsoft’s plans for its future Xbox console, including a game lineup indicating a next-generation Xbox console release planned for 2028. However, recent reports suggest an earlier release, potentially in 2026.

According to TechPowerup, Intel is proposing an “all American” semi-custom SoC for Microsoft’s next Xbox generation, hoping its semi-custom System on Chip (SoC) could be employed in the next-generation Xbox console, replacing the current Xbox Series X/S. Intel’s pitch emphasizes that this chip would be entirely manufactured in the United States, including its packaging components.

Intel’s semi-custom SoC, based on its next-generation CPU and GPU architecture, offers functionalities similar to AMD’s solutions, with the flexibility for Microsoft to choose any combination of forthcoming CPU and GPU architectures, such as Lunar Lake/Panther Lake paired with Battlemage/Celestial. It could also integrate the next-generation Neural Processing Unit (NPU) if necessary. Intel believes its recently launched Meteor Lake has already demonstrated significant advancements in SoC technology.

Intel is no stranger to gaming consoles and has previously provided chips for them. Veterans of gaming might recall that Microsoft’s first-generation Xbox utilized an Intel Pentium III processor, codenamed “Coppermine,” complemented by a GeForce 3 dedicated graphics card supplied by Nvidia.