Microsoft Reportedly Planning a ‘Cheaper’ Disc-less Xbox Variant

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According to a new report from Kotaku, Microsoft may still be working on a disc-less, affordable variant of its next-gen gaming console. So far, we’ve heard mostly about the Redmond giant’s ambitious “Project Scarlett” — the company’s next-generation of Xbox gaming consoles expected to pack in a solid-state drive, a powerful CPU, and more hardware improvements across the board, but if this new report is to be believed, the company is working on a cheaper variant of the same, codenamed “Lockhart”.

It’s interesting to note that this isn’t the first time that rumours of ‘Lockhart’ have made rounds on the internet. Back in 2018, Microsoft’s “Project Scarlett” was believed to comprise two consoles codenamed ‘Anaconda’ for the high-end, extremely capable Xbox upgrade, and ‘Lockhart’ for a more affordable, slightly less powerful, and digital-only option. However, with Microsoft making the announcement in June this year that Project Scarlett was just one console, speculation about Lockhart died out.

Now, Kotaku has learned from sources that Lockhart is still very much alive, according to four people briefed on the matter.

As mentioned in the report, as of now it’s unclear what sort of performance difference we might see in the two consoles when Microsoft finally unveils them, but it’s likely to be similar to the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S. The report also mentions that Microsoft is aiming for 4K at 60FPS-level performance for Project Scarlett, and 1440p at 60FPS performance for Lockhart.

If the report is to be believed, Lockhart does look like a console that would fit in well with Microsoft’s Project xCloud, and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, which allow users to play a huge library of games for a monthly subscription fee. That sounds great for a disc-less console, and with Project xCloud, gamers should even be able to play games without having to actually download them on the console at all.

It goes without saying that information about Lockhart is based on reports and rumours, and as such, should be taken with a pinch of salt. We should get to know more as we approach the launch of both Sony’s PlayStation 5, and Microsoft’s Project Scarlett (and hopefully Lockhart).

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