Microsoft’s long-rumored affordable next-gen Xbox ‘Lockhart’ console is once again in the news with a reported reveal event scheduled for May.
With rumors of a next-gen Xbox event next month gathering steam, we’re left wondering what Microsoft may be gearing up to reveal.
Xbox has adopted a comparatively open-book approach. We’ve seen the console in the flesh, an impressive dive into its modular-like internal design, the UI in action thanks to the Series X’s Quick Resume feature, and substantial details about the next-gen hardware. What remains are the games and the price point.
The price hinges greatly on PlayStation 5 plans as Xbox has detailed previously with its ‘agile’ approach to stamping a cost to the Series X. Price is likely to be one of the last announcements in the lead up to launch in late 2020.
The assumption is that launch games, therefore, should take center for any upcoming Xbox Series news from Microsoft. Apart from short trailers for Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II at December’s The Game Awards, Microsoft has been mostly silent.
Rumors suggest Microsoft is gearing up to host two Xbox Series X events in the coming month – one to replace the now-canceled E3 and another before then, reportedly in May.
Yet, according to the latest murmurs doing the rounds, Microsoft may have another trick up its sleeve aside from launch titles. And, one that could be pivotal in setting up the Xbox Series X for a healthier competitive tussle with Sony: the long-rumored code-named Lockhart Xbox.
Back when the Xbox Series X was referred to in hushed tones as Project Scarlett, there was a widely held belief that Microsoft planned to jump into the next-gen with a dual console strategy. The first, Anaconda, is the Xbox Series X. The other, a more affordable and less powerful alternative dubbed Lockhart.
To date, Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the existence of Lockhart, but rumors have persisted nevertheless, once again gathering steam today. In a round-up of all current Xbox rumors, Windows Central offered some interesting new nuggets about the Lockhart.
The chief point is that the Lockhart will offer a 4 Teraflops ‘entry point to next-gen gaming.’ Windows Central’s Jez Corden claims that the Lockhart will include Xbox Series X features such as the fast NVMe SSD loading speeds, some form of ray tracing, Zen 2 CPU, and Xbox’s Velocity architecture. Microsoft will reportedly cut costs by scaling back on the RDNA 2 GPU, resulting in lower resolutions.
Windows Central suggests Xbox is allowing employees to take Lockhart home for testing. The outlet reckons Xbox will unveil the Lockhart next month.
A more affordable price point could serve Xbox well going into the next-gen, notably in the wake of global coronavirus pandemic. With unemployment skyrocketing and economies across the world tanking, a lower-priced entry point into the next-gen could do wonders for Xbox’s market share.
If there’s any substance to the rumors of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5’s $500-$550 price point, a $300 Lockhart would be an enticing proposition for would-be owners struggling with stunted post-coronavirus purchasing power.