Xbox Scarlett “Lockhart” Model Reportedly Still in the Works, Similar to PS4 Pro in Power
It seems Microsoft’s Xbox Scarlett plans have changed again. Or, perhaps more accurately, they never actually changed when we thought they had. Before Microsoft officially announced Xbox Scarlett, the rumor was Microsoft was working on two models – a more powerful system (codenamed Anaconda) and a more mainstream option (codenamed Lockhart). Basically, Anaconda would be the Xbox One X and Lockhart would be the Xbox One S of the next generation. Ah, but when Scarlett was announced there was no mention of two models and there were reports Lockhart had been shelved.
Well, according to reliable Kotaku insider Jason Schreier, the Lockhart model is in the works again (or maybe always was). Per anonymous developers working on Microsoft’s next-gen platform, Lockhart will be roughly comparable to a PS4 Pro in terms of power, with devs expected to target 1440p and 60fps on the system (Anaconda will target full 4K and 60fps). Lockhart will have some benefits over any current-gen console, as it will sport a new, speedy CPU and solid-state drive, but it sounds like it won’t be the true next-gen experience Anaconda is. Somewhat concerningly, developers are reportedly expected to have all Scarlett games running on both Anaconda and the less-powerful Lockhart.
Apparently, Lockhart will lack a disc drive and largely be pushed as a streaming box for Xbox Game Pass and xCloud, which is interesting, as back in summer it was rumored Microsoft was working on a low-cost (sub $100) steaming box for Game Pass/xCloud. Did Microsoft perhaps decide to revive Lockhart and combine it with the streaming box idea?
Of course, take all this with a grain of salt, but Schreier has rarely led us astray. For their part, Microsoft has issued a standard “we do not comment on rumors or speculation” non-denial.
In other behind-the-scenes news, it seems Microsoft is behind Sony when it comes to getting next-gen dev kits into developers’ hands. The PlayStation 5 dev kit, codenamed Prospero, has already been widely circulated (enough so that pictures have started to leak out), while Scarlett kits are “harder to come by.” Overall, it's said the PS5 and Anaconda version of Xbox Scarlett are very similar in terms of power.
What do you think? Is the entry-level Lockhart version Xbox Scarlett really worth the trouble? Or is a simple one-SKU approach better?