When reports were first coming out about Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox console, there was mention of a cheaper, disc-less Xbox that would be released alongside a more traditional console. Microsoft hasn’t mentioned this console in recent months, but a new report claims that plans for the cheaper console still exists.Kotaku is reporting that a lower-cost, disc-less version of Project Scarlett, which is codenamed “Lockhart” is still in development according to sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans. The console will be part of a family of devices that also includes Scarlett which will have a disc drive.
The first reports on next-gen Xbox plans indicated that Scarlett is a family of devices comprising of a more powerful console codenamed Anaconda and a cheaper unit codenamed Lockhart. The strategy would mirror the current situation where there’s a more powerful Xbox One X, and a line of cheaper consoles like the Xbox One S and the Xbox One S Digital.
During E3 2019 and media appearances since then, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has largely stuck to talking about a single, powerful console called Scarlett. And Spencer has denied the development of a “streaming-only console right now,” in an interview with GameSpot.
However, these reports suggest that even if there isn’t a streaming-only Xbox just yet, those plans aren’t dead. And considering Microsoft has a suite of services suitable for a digital-only console like Xbox Game Pass and xCloud, a streaming-only console would make sense for the company.
Xbox and Sony are expected to unveil their next-gen consoles in 2020. While there are still plenty of questions around Project Scarlett, the PS5 info has been flowing rather freely, including numerous photos of the PS5 dev kits out in the wild.
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. If you have any information about Xbox’s Scarlett plans reach out on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org