Leaked Microsoft document hints at second next-gen Xbox

Microsoft has been planning a second, cheaper and less power next-gen Xbox console. Codenamed Lockhart, it’s designed to simply take most of the key next-gen improvements found in the Xbox Series X and supply them at a lower cost for gaming at 1080p or 1440p. A newly leaked Microsoft document, posted on Twitter, includes references to this Lockhart console and multiple “Project Scarlett consoles.”

Project Scarlett was the name Microsoft originally used to reveal its Xbox Series X console before it was officially named. Rumors had suggested two next-gen consoles beneath the broader Project Scarlett plans: Anaconda and Lockhart. Microsoft has etched an anaconda snake in to the Xbox Series X mainboard, but the company has never publicly discussed its Lockhart plans.

The leaked document also mentions a Lockhart profiling mode. Sources knowledgeable about Microsoft’s Xbox plans tell The Verge that this special Lockhart mode is area of the Xbox Series X developer kit. The devkit, codenamed Dante, allows game developers to enable a particular Lockhart mode that has a profile of the performance that Microsoft really wants to hit with this specific second console. We recognize that includes 7.5GB of usable RAM, a slightly underclocked CPU speed, and around 4 teraflops of GPU performance. The Xbox Series X includes 13.5GB of usable RAM, and targets 12 teraflops of GPU performance.

Developers can use this Lockhart mode to try their games against this performance profile and do validation checks. Microsoft is anticipated to position its Lockhart console for 1080p or 1440p gaming, two of the most popular resolutions employed by PC gaming monitors currently.

The leaked Microsoft document mentions multiple Project Scarlett consoles.

While Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged Lockhart, the codename can also be found in the company’s Xbox One os, alongside references to Anaconda and Dante. We understand why second next-gen Xbox console will launch alongside the Xbox Series X providing Microsoft doesn’t cancel it at the final minute. Lockhart will likely be named “Xbox Series S,” which is why Microsoft trademarked the “Xbox Series” branding.

This second Xbox console will be key to Microsoft’s pricing technique for the next generation of consoles. The company has already devoted to introducing its Xbox All Access subscription for the Xbox Series X, big money that includes a console, Xbox Live, and Xbox Game Pass for a monthly fee. “Xbox All Access is going to be critical to both our launch for Xbox Series X as well as just the overall generation,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Xbox chief, in a Game Lab Live keynote earlier this week.

Microsoft currently offers an Xbox One S All Digital Edition subscription for $19.99 per month that includes Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It’s reasonable to assume that this Lockhart console will undoubtedly be offered similarly to entice people in to Microsoft’s subscription offerings. Microsoft is also bundling its Project xCloud game streaming technology into Xbox Game Pass later this season, in just one more effort to bolster its subscription service.

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