Microsoft Testing Xbox Series X Variant Codenamed ‘Lockhart’ To Be Cheaper And Discless Upgrade To Xbox One Console?

Microsoft’s latest next-gen high-end dedicated gaming console, the Xbox Series X is still a few months away from launching. Before the Sony PS5 rival makes an appearance, Microsoft could unveil a cheaper variant of the Xbox Series X, codenamed ‘Lockhart’.

The mysterious upgrade to the current-gen Xbox One should be much more affordable than the Xbox Series X, and would certainly lack a few components. However, the Xbox ‘Lockhart’ will benefit from the exponentially faster storage options as well as the faster CPU and GPU that Microsoft has embedded within the Xbox Series X.

Microsoft Testing Xbox ‘Lockhart’ As An Upgrade To Next-Gen Gaming Console With A Few Key Compromises?

Microsoft Xbox “Lockhart,” could be the second next-gen Xbox console. It would effectively be a low-cost alternative to the Xbox Series X, previously known as “Project Scarlett.” Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed the existence of Lockhart. A few reports last year, however, indicated the company is still considering a cheaper yet equally capable option to Xbox Series X.

According to rumors, Xbox Lockhart could be named as Xbox Series S. Previous reports have indicated that Microsoft would take out the ability to accept disc-based games. The Xbox Series S would essentially be a digital-only gaming console. This means gamers would have to purchase digital copies of the games and their DLC, which would be delivered over the internet. Interestingly, the Xbox Series S might be a great option for gamers who have subscriptions to remote or cloud game streaming platforms.

Microsoft Xbox ‘Lockhart’ Or Xbox Series S Specifications:

Microsoft hasn’t indicated it was even exploring the idea of a cheaper or affordable variant of Xbox Series X. Incidentally, the company hasn’t indicated any pricing of the upcoming next-gen gaming console. Experts indicate Microsoft might price the Xbox Series X somewhere between $400 and $650. However, prices are purely subjective and could change significantly owing to the ongoing global health crisis.

Coming to the specifications of the rumored Xbox ‘Lockhart’ Or Xbox Series S, a recent report from a website that accurately predicted the Xbox Series X specs, indicates Xbox Lockhart would feature a similar custom-designed AMD Zen 2 CPU coupled with a custom Navi GPU delivering 4 teraflops of computing power. The report also mentioned the slightly more affordable iteration would pack 12GB of GDDR6 RAM. The upcoming Xbox Series X packs 16GB of GDDR6 RAM. It is not clear if Microsoft would ship the Xbox ‘Lockhart’ with a little smaller but equally fast SSD. The reports hint at 1 terabyte of fast NVMe storage. Needless to add, without an option to load physical discs, the Xbox Series S would require ample storage to store files locally.

In all likelihood, the Microsoft Xbox ‘Lockhart’ should qualify as a powerful upgrade to Xbox One X. The rumored console would be a significant evolutionary leap from the current-gen console. Gamers would benefit immensely from exceptionally fast NVME loading speeds. Experts also indicate the console could support Ray Tracing in some limited form.

If new reports are to be believed, Microsoft has already sent out a few prototypes of the Microsoft Xbox ‘Lockhart’ Or Xbox Series S to developers and testers to its own employees. If the reports are accurate, the rumored console is undergoing the final stages of internal evaluation and simulated end-user testing. This would mean gamers might just expect the Microsoft Xbox ‘Lockhart’ Or Xbox Series S to launch in the next couple of months.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.