As the Xbox Series X comes closer to its launch date, fans keep wondering about the Xbox Lockhart project, the less expensive alternative that Xbox would offer as an entry-level, next-gen platform. The hype about the cheap console is still going strong, and a show of the anticipation can be seen with a new fan-made concept design of the still unconfirmed Microsoft Xbox Series S console.
Disclaimer – This information has not been verified, therefore this is not factual.
WindowsCentral has been one of the leading reporters of the latest information on the Xbox “Lockhart” platform. Representing Microsoft’s replacement for the Xbox One X. Lockhart is expected to ditch the optical drive for a more compact design and an overall lower production cost, the console would also have discrete hardware capable of playing next-gen games, delivering around 4 TFLOPs. Lockhart would still conserve some of the key components that boast the Series X for the next generation. The NVMe storage device is still expected to be present at Xbox Lockhart.
WindowsCentral claims to have heard from insiders that Lockhart is being tested by Xbox employees. The outlet seems confident to predict that Microsoft might reveal more information about Xbox Lockhart at an upcoming showcase of Microsoft’s newest Surface model.
Lockhart is entering take home stages for Xbox employees to get their hands on the system and begin providing feedback and testing. The timing would indicate to me that rumors of upcoming showcases in early May are likely accurate. This is coupled with rumors from our Senior Editor Zac Bowden that Microsoft is gearing up to showcase new Surface hardware in May, as well.
COVID-19 has affected the manufacture of new consoles, recent decisions taken by Sony, might reveal the only path that can be proved successful ahead of desperate times. Due to a high price of DRAM and NAND Sony has decided to deviate resources of the company’s flagship mirrorless camera in favor of the PlayStation 5 production. The tech giant also announced that limited production can’t be avoided for 2020.
Analyzing the obstacles faced by Sony, inconveniences caused by COVID-19, Microsoft might find indispensable to save the scarce hardware in benefit of the Xbox Series X production, thus, Xbox Lockhart might be a very difficult system to manufacture in 2020. Also, Nintendo’s success with the Switch Lite might also lead the way for Microsoft to know exactly when to launch the cheaper alternative for Series X.
Xbox Series X games will not be gen exclusive for the first couple of years, as it was confirmed by Microsoft Studios’ Matt Booty in early 2020. This could be indicative that Microsoft is not planning to launch Xbox Lockhart along with the Series X.