It’s long been known that Microsoft is probably working on a lower-powered alternative to the Xbox Series X. A weaker box could be cheaper and fit in with Microsoft’s vision for accessibility, as well as justify a higher-priced main console.
That said, Lockhart might be more powerful than initially thought.
According to Verge editor Tom Warren , Lockhart’s CPU will likely be the same speed as the Series X. The difference will be in GPU and CU counts.
According to Polygon’s co-founder, Arthur Gies, this means Lockhart will stick with a stable framerate at a lower resolution than the Xbox Series X.
This is smart.
Essentially, Lockhart and Series X can both play next-gen games. Only the new box will play at 4k. Unfortunately, this doesn’t justify the potentially lower frame rates on next-generation systems.
We already know Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will hit 30fps on next-generation systems. But other titles will suffer as devs target 4k over playable framerates. Could Lockhart exist as a 60fps, 1080p alternative?
With features like Game Pass, most Xbox first-party titles will have to run on consoles from the Xbox One X to the Series X. Lockhart will fit snugly in the middle, and hopefully at an accessible price, too.
If this is true, Microsoft is giving players options, much like building a PC. That said, consoles are much more approachable than PCs. Could this diversity win Xbox the next-generation bid before it even starts?
There’s still the question of purely next-gen titles, however. Games like Resident Evil 8 have supposedly scrapped releases on previous generations. Will Lockhart be included in that next-gen release? Or will it be left behind for the more powerful box?
One thing is for sure: Microsoft better make this clear. With an Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, and whatever Lockhart is, many will struggle to know which is best. Let’s hope they realize this and name Lockhart something rational at that.