Sources speaking to Kotaku confirm that the once thought abandoned cheaper iteration of Microsoft’s Project Scarlett console is back on the table. Announced at E3, Phil Spencer was on stage and confirmed the next-generation console was in development as Project Scarlett.
Earlier this year, rumours swirled that the next-generation of Xbox consoles would arrive as two models: the low-end Lockhart and high-end Anaconda. Of course, once E3 came around and Project Scarlett was revealed, the rumour was quickly squashed and left at that.
Except now, Lockhart is once again rearing its head in the news today. Kotaku has learned that the low-end Lockhart model would be a digital-only offering and an alternative to Scarlett. This piece of news comes with no pricing attached to it, but most likely this is to keep in line with the Xbox One X and Anaconda being a pair, as well as the Xbox One S Digital and Lockhart being the other pair. Xbox has seen success with its digital-only console which was a massive hit this Black Friday.
Developers speaking to Kotaku mention that the are able to develop for both systems and liken the Lockhart to the current PlayStation 4 Pro in terms of power but at the added benefit of an SSD and newer CPU. Also, the Lockhart aims to hit 1440p and 60 frames per second, whereas Anaconda plans on achieving 4K and 60 frames per second.
Being the lesser of the two new consoles, Microsoft wants to push their cloud-based services with xCloud and Xbox Game Pass subscription, which includes a wealth of gaming titles available for one low cost per month. This makes sense given Lockhart has no disc storage and will be a digital-only console, and has branded the Xbox One S Digital with Game Pass previously.
We don’t know much about Project Scarlett and with Sony revving up and working towards a Holiday 2020 launch for PlayStation 5, it’s a bit worrying that Microsoft is staying mum on their next-gen hardware. Developers have mentioned to Kotaku Microsoft’s lack of communication in recent months as worrying, and while most developers already have development kits for PlayStation 5, Scarlett devkits are less available.