More rumors of a cheaper next-gen Xbox Lockhart surface after document leak

We’ve heard rumors that there’ll be multiple next-gen Xbox models for at least two years. Microsoft has only revealed the Xbox Series X, previously known as Project Scarlet, so far. However, an alleged Microsoft internal communication leak adds more credence to rumors of an Xbox Lockhart, which will serve as a lower-priced alternative to the Series X.

The leaked communication is supposedly part of the release documentation for the June 2020 update of the Xbox Game Development Kit. The documentation references a “LockhartProfiling” mode for the Scarlett Dev Kit in addition to “AnacondaProfiling” mode. Although Microsoft hasn’t confirmed it, the Xbox Series X is likely now known under the internal codename Anaconda, as evidenced by the image of a snake on the console’s motherboard. That means the relationship between Anaconda and Lockhart is probably similar to the one between the Xbox One S and Xbox One X.

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The Verge confirms that its sources confirm the Lockhart mode is part of the Xbox Series X devkit. Lockhart mode targets a console with 7.5GB of RAM and 4 teraflops of GPU performance, as opposed to the 13.5GB of RAM and 12 teraflop GPU of the Xbox Series X.

The existence of Lockhart mode on the devkit further points to Microsoft approaching the next console generation, much like it did the latter half of the current one. Lockhart will likely release for $100-200 less than the Series X and target 1080p screens. Lockhart’s specs are less impressive than Microsoft’s current console flagship, the Xbox One X, though Microsoft’s cloud computing technology may augment Lockhart in some way.

Neither Sony nor Microsoft has released pricing info for their next-gen consoles. The existence of both a disc-less PS5 and a potential lower-spec Xbox Series X seems to indicate both companies consider offering a cheaper model in addition to their flagship is essential. While Sony has already laid its cards on the table concerning hardware, we’ll likely see the rest of what Microsoft has in store at its next streaming event in July.