New Xbox dev kit certified for testing in South Korea, console refresh could come this year

Photograph of an Xbox Series X XDK dev kit alongside the original Series X. The new XDK likely looks different!
Photograph of an Xbox Series X XDK dev kit alongside the original Series X. The new XDK likely looks different! (Image credit: u/darth_antonio on Reddit)

In line with FTC leaks regarding future Xbox console releases (both a Series X refresh and a next-gen Xbox slated for 2028, at the time) and this week's PS5 Pro specs leak, the latest Xbox Development Kit has popped up in the South Korean RRA (Radio Research Agency) database. The last time this happened in June 2020 with the Series X devkit (pictured in our header), the Xbox Series X released in November of the same year. This update was spotted by @KoreaXboxnews on Twitter.

So, what does this mean? Well, besides the fact that the Xbox Series X refresh "Brooklin" is now most likely coming this year, the console market is going to be interesting by the time the holiday season rolls around. It seems we're expecting both a proper mid-gen refresh and a performance bump from Sony with the PlayStation 5 Pro, but more of a standard refresh from Xbox — since "Brooklin" reportedly performs identically to the Series X.

Now, to be fair to the Series X — it's actually already been proven stronger than the PS5 in select third-party titles. However, that doesn't mean it will scale favorably to the PS5 Pro, which seems like it will at least be able to provide significantly higher resolutions in existing titles through the usage of its PSSR upscaling, which can be applied to all PlayStation games unlike past Pro upgrades.

The success of the new Xbox console that this Xbox Development Kit points to will rely heavily on two factors: the pricing of the PS5 Pro, and the final performance of the new Xbox console. A few months have passed since the FTC leaks, which is plenty of time for Microsoft to observe the market and perhaps further juice up its new console ahead of the PS5 Pro, in hopes of keeping its performance crown.

If the PS5 Pro is significantly more expensive than the leaked $499 price point for "Brooklin" as a Series X refresh, the new Xbox becomes an interesting middle-ground between entry-level PS5/Xbox Series S consoles and high-end Pro/Series X consoles.

If the Xbox console this XDK corresponds to actually implements hardware upgrades beyond a streamlined all-digital design and abandons "Brooklin", Microsoft will stay competitive with Sony on the high end of the console market.

But finally... if the PS5 Pro matches price with the new Xbox console while providing its leaked performance bumps and Microsoft still just re-released the Series X... this one could be DOA (and we don't mean the classic series of 3D fighters).

Freelance News Writer