Xbox Series X's Cheaper Lockhart Companion System Appears Again In Xbox Dev Notes

The long-rumored second next-gen console has been mentioned in release notes for an update to a Xbox development SDK.

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Evidence pointing towards a second next-generation Xbox continues to mount, this time with wording in the latest Game Development Kit SDK notes mentioning profiling modes for Xbox Lockhart.

Lockhart is a name that has been attributed to the other next-gen Xbox for some time now, stemming from the Anaconda and Lockhart project titles given to hardware under the banner of Project Scarlett. Anaconda would go on to be named the Xbox Series X, which Microsoft formally revealed in December last year. But since then the company has made no mention of a second SKU--at least not officially.

The latest GDK released to Xbox developers, as reported by The Verge, does make specific mention of Lockhart. It lays out a new profiling mode that will allow existing dev kits to mimic the performance conditions of the reportedly lower-powered consoles, including a slightly reduced CPU clock speed, less available RAM (about 7.5GB only), and significantly less GPU power (around four teraflops, as opposed to the 12 teraflops in the Xbox Series X). What that equates to is a testing profile that features the same SSD speeds and similar CPU performance but far less headroom for high resolution gaming.

That fits with the assumption that Lockhart isn't a console for consumers worried about 4K gaming. Instead, Microsoft is positioning this as a 1080p/1440p device, with a big focus on xCloud streaming too. The reduction in processing performance could allow Microsoft to price Lockhart drastically lower than the Series X, giving consumers two very different options to choose from.

Sony recently revealed plans to do something similar, although the difference between the two versions of the PS5 is simply whether it includes a disc-drive or not. Sony has yet to announce pricing for either model, and Microsoft has similarly remained quiet over Series X pricing. So, if Lockhart does launch alongside it later this year, and is sold for less than the Series X, you can potentially look forward to four consoles to choose from.

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