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Kareem Choudhry has reportedly left Microsoft amid a wider Xbox brand shakeup

Kareem Choudhry has left Microsoft as of Friday, April 5, 2024. The former corporate vice president of Emerging Technologies at Xbox, Choudhry most recently spearheaded the company’s exploration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in gaming.

As reported by Windows Central, it marks the end of an impressive 26-year tenure at the company. In addition to heading the Emerging Technologies team, Choudhry is also well known for his previous work on many significant Xbox projects. This includes the development of Xbox backwards compatibility and recent advances in Xbox Cloud Gaming.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the rest of the Emerging Technologies team will be incorporated into the wider Xbox hardware division. A memo has reportedly been distributed within the company, describing a desire to accelerate AI innovation through this change.

It comes amid a major strategic shakeup at Xbox, which includes plenty of leadership changes in addition to the recruiting of new staff. As part of this, a newly created Xbox Experiences and Platforms team, led by Ashley McKissick and Kevin Gammill, will now allegedly focus on polishing the Xbox user experience across both PC and console.

Analysis: A digital future for Xbox? 

The creation of the new Xbox Experiences and Platforms team makes sense when you consider the recent arrival of a handful of former Xbox-exclusive titles, such as Hi-Fi Rush and Pentiment, on competing platforms including the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch.

With lackluster Xbox Series X sales, it seems increasingly likely that the Xbox brand is heading towards a more software-oriented future. Ensuring a unified Xbox experience across multiple platforms then seems like a considered way to maintain a cohesive brand in the absence of a flagship console, especially with a potential Xbox handheld gaming PC on the horizon.

As for Choudhry’s departure, bringing the company’s AI efforts closer to the main Xbox division could suggest a renewed focus on the technology - potentially as a means to increase the speed of software development. The exact outcomes of this shift have yet to be seen, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on Microsoft’s gaming efforts over the coming months.

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