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Rumor: Microsoft Still Plans to Release Cheaper, Disc-Less Next Generation Xbox

Rumor: Microsoft Still Plans to Release Cheaper, Disc-Less Next Generation Xbox - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 April 2020 / 2,463 Views

Microsoft at E3 2019 announced its next generation console, the Xbox Scarlett. What it didn't mention was the rumored less powerful, disc-less and cheaper version of its console, which is codenamed Lockhart. 

Kotaku is now reporting it has heard from four sources that Lockhart is still being developed. The Lockhart can be seen a successor to the Xbox One S and the Scarlett (codenamed Anaconda according to rumors) as a successor of the Xbox One X, says Kotaku.

Lockhart according to the sources will still include a solid-state drive like with the Xbox Anaconda and PlayStation 5. This is expected to lower load times. Lockhart will have a faster CPU than any current console, including the Xbox One X. This would allow for high frame-rates. 

 Rumor: Microsoft Still Plans to Release Cheaper, Disc-Less Next Generation Xbox

Microsoft's target is the Lockhart to run at  1440p resolution and 60 frames-per-second and the Anaconda to run at 4K resolution and 60 frames-per-second. Lockhart will likely be promoted alongside Microsoft's xCloud streaming service and Xbox Game Pass. 

Another source speaking with The Verge says Microsoft is aiming for 10 teraflops of graphical power on the Xbox Anaconda and Lockhart will launch with around 4 teraflops of graphical power.

“We do not comment on rumors or speculation,” said a Microsoft spokesperson to Kotaku.

This should be treated as a rumor until confirmed by Microsoft. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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38 Comments

Cerebralbore101 (on 04 December 2019)

This should be a good system for people that want to just have Gamepass + XBLive. This way they can run their games locally while having a Netflix-style service.


coolbeans (on 04 December 2019)

If the only difference is a disc-less drive, I don't see the problem. If we're talking about S-to-X hardware disparities, I'd say no thanks.


Mr Puggsly (on 05 December 2019)

If its just a GPU disparity, I think it will be fine. The problem with S and X is they also vary in RAM and CPU capabilities. So when X1X is treated as the lead, the base units suffer.


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VAMatt (on 04 December 2019)

I'll certainly have a Anaconda as my main machine. But, I could see myself picking up possibly two Lockharts for other TVs in my house. That would certainly come later in the generation though, after I recover from the purchase of Anaconda and PS5, and once there are games on Gamepass that my XBones won't run.


Mr Puggsly (on 04 December 2019)

My ideal scenario is something like this. Lockhart and Scarlett should share all the same specs except GPU and disc drive. Lockhart should aim for $299 vs Scarlett at $499 or higher. They will take a hit on Lockhart but all game sales will be digital, subscriptions, etc.

Lockhart should have the GPU power at par or better than X1X. That should be enough to do 1080p and higher in 9th gen games. While the Scarlett should have like double the GPU of X1X, so it can handle 4K and/or 60 fps with greater ease.

I'm not a specs nerd but I'm thinking something like an RX 580 vs RX 5700.


Mr Puggsly (on 04 December 2019)

On a side note I think its crucial that Lockhart can play BC content at par as a X1X. Because that's necessary for Lockhart to have a large library of 4K content on day one. Otherwise Lockhart will appear dated at launch.


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SuperNintend0rk (on 04 December 2019)

My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hun :P


VAMatt (on 04 December 2019)

What if Lockhart does some side bends or situps, but doesn't lose that butt?


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SuperNintend0rk (on 05 December 2019)

Lol I have zero interest in Lockhart if there's no slot to insert my disc ;)


  • +1
Pemalite (on 04 December 2019)

And I still have plans on not buying it.
Actually like my physical media as a collector... Plus I am a bit of a graphics hoe anyway.


Mr Puggsly (on 05 December 2019)

I still like collecting media that is on carts, also because I hate how Nintendo handles digital content.

Games on X1 and PS4 discs though almost feel useless. Many games use little of the content actually on the disc after updates. But if you relly want to feel like you own the game, I get it.


  • +1
Zenos (on 05 December 2019)

I will never buy a console that doesn't support physical games.


Mr Puggsly (on 05 December 2019)

I've moved away from that because I suddenly want less physical stuff in my life. I also have a several bins filled with previous gen games.


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NobleTeam360 (on 05 December 2019)

I agree with the sentiment that if it's just a discless console then sure whatever but if it's a significantly weaker machine than the Anaconda then I hope this is not true.


The Fury (on 05 December 2019)

Honestly, I'd be shocked if they and Sony didn't do this. This is the way they should have handled the coming of the digital future of games, not always online 'we treat all customers as thieves' they tried at the start of this gen. There will be a lot of people open up to a digital only machine with a much larger hard drive. As long as games are priced competitively as their own stores are basically monopolies, at the moment they still aren't sadly. In most cases it's still cheaper to buy disc and this means drives are here to stay.


DonFerrari (on 05 December 2019)

Discless option yes that will get customers if they can either pay cheaper or trade that for HDD space. But the specs is different as well.


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The Fury (on 05 December 2019)

On the discless version? That's odd. Surely they systems would need to be the same spec so developers can optimise games correctly. Eitherway that's what they should do, same everything just one has a discdrive, the other doesn't.


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DonFerrari (on 05 December 2019)

But the rumor is a system that have 1/3 of the power and no disc to sell it cheap so people that want price and don't care about quality could be satisfied.


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VAMatt (on 06 December 2019)

Until very recently, I had a very strong preference for physical media. That's because I sold most games after completing them. But, as I've gotten busier with family and business life, selling games has slid way down my priority list. I'm not doing it very often anymore. So, it's hard for me to see value in physical media at this point. These days, I mostly prefer the convenience of digital.

With that said, I still usually by physical, because I'm unable to get my self to accept that I'm not going to sell the game later, even though I know it has become very rare over the last four or five years.


siebensus4 (on 06 December 2019)

Wasn't there a statement by Microsoft that they skipped the play to release two consoles at the same time, because developers would focus on the weaker console and would upscale games for the stronger console. The upscaled games for Anaconda would look worse than on PS5 and that's why they won't release Lockhart? Could be that this was a rumor, too.


DonFerrari (on 06 December 2019)

Don't remember this statement from MS not even a statement officially discontinuing Lockhart.


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DonFerrari (on 05 December 2019)

I wouldn't buy the less powerfull and discless version of a system, but costing 200 less than PS5 and Scarlett I believe there will be a good market for it, even more if gamepass can keep a low sub price.

I'm still worried that perhaps MS having a much weaker system for 200 less than PS5, and Scarlett being just a little stronger but 100 more than PS5 will make PS5 have a very easy time winning the gen.

Pre-next-gen discussion is certainly exciting.


Mr Puggsly (on 05 December 2019)

@Don - MS having a cheaper console on the market would actually give them an edge. Not to win a generation, but they will get more sales have the cheapest console the market as well.

Sony has big momentum so beating them isn't expected. If MS can get another gen of selling 40+ million, along with revenue coming from PC, maybe with xCloud as well, then they're in a good place.


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DonFerrari (on 05 December 2019)

That all depends on the price and power of the consoles.
The reason why I said is that if Lockhart is 299 with only 4TF and discless going against PS5 at 399 and 10TF and Scarlett 499 12TF it will make PS5 look much better than Lockhart at only 100 more while also being just a little weaker than Scarlett but 100 less. It would be the sweet spot to only lose the ones that want the absolute cheapest or the most powerfull machine. We do know from previous gen most would go for the "most for the bang" so PS5 would have an easy win.
If Sony decides to eat the cost to make they closer in price to lockhart while specwise closer to scarlett MS is cornered because they can't cut scarlett without making lockhart look like a worse choice. So they would need to put lockhart already at a very low price that would take a long time to be profitable.


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Mr Puggsly (on 05 December 2019)

The average customer isn't REALLY looking at specs or comparing games side by side. I have two X1X units. But I would not be surprised if there are more X1SAD users due to the low price.

If the Lockhart happens to be $299, it plays the same games as Scarlett and PS5, games still look sharp at 1080p+ and performance is similar, then it has the potential to sell well. There is clearly a market for cheaper hardware that plays the same games with similar visuals.

I believe MS has potential to sell more hardware if they can boast they have the cheapest hardware (Lockhart) and the best hardware for multiplats (Scarlett). That would be better than just having Scarlett only.

I don't believe Sony is willing to take big losses on PS5 hardware because they're confident it will sell well at $399. I feel like MS is more incline to sacrifice money on hardware especially if its an all digital console. We just saw that with the X1SAD.


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DonFerrari (on 06 December 2019)

Sure gamer don't compare side by side most cases.
And yes there is a big difference between buying a console for 199 1080p or 499 4k this gen.
But if we have Lockhart no disc and 1080p at 299 vs PS5 4k at 399 them the difference in IQ is big enough to make all the headlines with a big gap in performance for small gap in money. All that besides Sony having momentum and exclusives recognition.
Can MS make it happen and they win the gen? Sure that is possible. But when they having a much cheaper machine with X360, multiplats running better on it, 1 year head start and all other advantages they still couldn't win.
X1SAD couldn't make Xbox even close a little the gap (or stop it from growing more).
So while price is important to customer it isn't the only variable, if it was neither Apple nor Samsung would still be selling smartphones as you can buy a Xiaomi, Huawei and others for less than half the price for the same performance.


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Mr Puggsly (on 06 December 2019)

How Lockhart plays games in practice will matter more than "headlines." Again, if Lockhart plays games at par with PS5 but maybe at half the resolution, then that would still be impresssive at $100 less.

I am not going to even entertain winning the 9th gen. I dont expect it and I already clarified it isnt necessary to succeed.


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DonFerrari (on 06 December 2019)

Lockhart would be putting 1/4 of the resolution. And if the 720p vs 1080p this gen made a lot of headlines and customer decisions I don't see why this wouldn't make a considerable impact if prices aren't much different. If lockhart launches at 199 vs PS5 399 or 499 then sure Lockhart having much lower processing power won't matter much.


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Mr Puggsly (on 06 December 2019)

You've forgot the X1 not only launched with an inferior GPU than PS4, but it was $100 more expensive due to Kinect ($499 vs $399). If the X1 was instead $299 - $349 without a Kinect at launch, there would have been no or less complaints.

1/4 resolution? Hypothetically, if Lockhart has just half the GPU power of PS5 then it would be more like 1440p vs 4K, maybe 1080p vs 1440p. Shoud not be 1/4 resolution.


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DonFerrari (on 06 December 2019)

And some months later they cut out the Kinect and 100, not long after they have been selling for 50 or even 100 less than PS4 depending on the promotion, didn't made a difference.

You talked about it having 1080p games, PS5 will be 4k, so that is 4x the difference. And Dunno where you are taking the half the GPU power if we are looking at lockhart being 4Tf and PS5 possibly 12Tf.


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Mr Puggsly (on 06 December 2019)

The price cut did make a difference, it kept X1 sales relatively strong so the platform is viable even with strong competition. For example, Playstation Vita wasn't a failure because 3DS sold better. Vita was a failure because it wasn't viable. The X1 has a large audience because it stayed competitive.

Let me quote myself, "If the Lockhart happens to be $299, it plays the same games as Scarlett and PS5, games still look sharp at 1080p+." Notice how I said 1080p+, as in 1080p or higher. I'm suggesting visuals at 1080p still look good but the hardware will also be capable of much better better depending on the game and frame rate.

Also, if you think all PS5 content is going to be 4K, I can assure you right now that won't happen. The X1X can't even achieve 4K in every game doing 8th gen graphics, especially if 60 fps is the goal.

If the Lockhart is only a $100 disparity, then it won't be 4TF vs 12TF. Certainly not at $299 vs $399.


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Comments below voting threshold

Radek (on 04 December 2019)

What a great idea, now devs will only have to make games for PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox One X, Xbox Lockhart, Xbox Scarlett, PC and Switch! Piece of cake!


Mr Puggsly (on 04 December 2019)

Developing for PS4, Pro, X1, and X1X is more like two jobs and all have similar architecture. Its obvious developers use either the base or premium as leads and go from there.

I suspect Xbox Lockhart and Scarlett would be GPU disparity, keeping other specs the same. But will still share architecture with PS5.

As for Switch... there are aren't many AAA gaming going there and they often use other studios to develop for Switch.


  • +1
Alistair (on 04 December 2019)

It is the same console except for GPU power. It's not hard, just lower the resolution are you are done. You make it sound like it takes any effort at all. GTX 1070 and 2080 ti play the same games.


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Zkuq (on 04 December 2019)

You guys in the replies are totally ignoring quality assurance costs. To start with, you can't just 'lower the resolution' because at best, you'll probably have only an educated guess about what a suitable resolution is. Then you need to test how well the game performs using the resolution etc. It shouldn't be too hard but it's definitely some extra effort and not free.


  • +5
Radek (on 04 December 2019)

Consoles have that tight optimisation because it's just one system to be optimized for, having 2 Xboxes next gen is not a good thing for devs, look how lazy some of Xbox One X ports are.


  • -4
DonFerrari (on 05 December 2019)

And most of PS4Pro ports are also quite lazy.


  • -3
Mr Puggsly (on 05 December 2019)

@Radek - While games vary in how well X1X hardware is used, ultimately the premium hardware is worth having because there are many examples that utilize it well. Even games that aren't optimized for X1X can be much better thanks to improved performance (closer lock to 30/60 fps), 16x AF and v-sync.

I think the biggest dilemma developers have had is the varying CPU and RAM capabilities. If developers really take advantage of X1X specs, the base console can suffer and there are examples of that.

If the only disparity with Lockhart and Scarlett is GPU, then optimization will be easier. Its clear there is a market for digital only hardware, people also don't necessarily need 4K given Switch is succeeding at sub 1080p in many games. If Lockhart can be the cheapest console on the market and yet still very capable of running all 9th gen content, then its worth doing.

Frankly, most people building gaming PC aren't making machines capable of 4K/60 fps in every game. The reality is 1080p is still very common. So why give every console gamer a powerful GPU as well?


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