When Microsoft goes into the next generation of console gaming for holiday 2020, it won’t be releasing just one new Xbox console. Instead, the company will be launching two next-generation systems under the “Project Scarlett” name.
According to a report from The Verge, Microsoft is planning to release a less powerful Xbox console, codenamed “Lockhart”, at the same time as the more powerful “Anaconda” system. The systems, the report states, will act as successors to the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, respectively.
The Lockhart version will launch without a disc drive, making games only available via digital download. The system will also have various hardware differences in order to keep it weaker than the main console. One thing that won’t differ, however, is storage type as both consoles will have a solid-state drive for faster load times.
To add to the report, Kotaku confirmed that sources told them that a second Next-Gen Xbox has always been in the plans for Microsoft.
As far as pricing goes, it’s expected that the high-end Anaconda consoles will cost $499 at launch, and will have features like a disc drive, 4K visuals, and higher-clocked CPU for quick processing. Lockhart, in addition to being an all-digital system, will only support up to 1440p resolution. That system, while not confirmed anywhere, is expected to run anywhere from $100-$200 less.
The Lockhart version of the console, according to a developer who spoke to Kotaku, is being compared to the PS4 Pro in regards to graphical capabilities. That said, the aforementioned hardware improvements like an SSD will make that system more powerful than any current-gen console.
Now, it’s important to note, none of this is confirmed by Microsoft. In fact, no specs for any of the next-gen consoles have really been mentioned. That said, The Verge and Kotaku are two of the most reputable publications in the gaming industry. So, if they report something, it’s likely something that’s accurate.
When reached for comment, Microsoft gave SGO the same canned response it gave Kotaku and others when asked about the next Xbox plans stating, “We do not comment on rumors or speculation.”
Xbox Scarlett, which is still the unofficial name for the system, will launch Holiday 2020 alongside the PlayStation 5. As we move into early 2020, it’s reasonable to expect that we’ll get our first look at the upcoming systems within the next few months.
Mike’s Musings: This is something that, despite seemingly being debunked, I kind of expected to see happen. We’ve seen too much success over the past five years of multiple versions of a console to not see the next-generation fall into that suit. There are still plenty of people who don’t have 4K TVs and won’t by the time the new system’s launch. By giving those players a cheaper option that removes a feature that they just can’t use, it makes more sense than having a one-size-fits-all console.
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