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Xbox Series X naming scheme leaves door open for Lockhart

Microsoft's new next-gen naming scheme reinforces rumors of a dual-console launch

By: Derek Strickland from Dec 13, 2019 @ 14:32 CST

As promised, Microsoft's next-gen console come with a new naming scheme the sets the stage for the future of Xbox.

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The new Xbox Series X console (formerly Project Scarlett) isn't just the name of a new system, but the name of a new generation. We can expect more Xbox systems to use the "Series" label as Microsoft blurs the lines between generations. More systems like, say, the rumored lower-end Lockhart console that's rumored to release alongside the Xbox SX in Holiday 2020.

Rumor has it Microsoft will release two next-gen consoles in 2020: Anaconda, the codename for the revealed Xbox SX that hits 4K 60FPS, and Lockhart, a disc-less system with lower specs that targets 1440p 60FPS. Microsoft has yet to confirm Lockhart's existence, but the new Series moniker strongly hints that it's possible.

Releasing a cheaper next-gen system makes a lot of sense.

The Xbox Series X sounds like it'll be incredibly expensive thanks to its hardware specs that include 12TFLOP GPU, GDDR6 memory, high-end NVMe SSD, and new Zen 2 CPU. It's even shaped like a mini-ITX PC, strongly hinting it needs some serious ventilation. Based on this hardware it's possible the Xbox SX overshoots its rumored $499 price point.

Not everyone can afford (or wants) an enthusiast grade Xbox, the same way not everyone rushed out to buy an Xbox One X. The cheaper Xbox One S is the sweet spot right now, and Lockhart aims to be the sweet spot of next-gen.

With Lockhart, gamers can theoretically still get the benefits of next-gen like a super-fast SSD, ray tracing, the Navi GPU and Zen 2 CPU combo, and other features like supported adaptive sync. The trade-off is just that everything's been dialed down to a lower spec for 1440p 60FPS versus native 4K 60FPS.

Lockhart will simply be weaker with less RAM and GPU horsepower, thus making it cheaper, and it probably won't come with a disc drive.

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Gamers are worried that Lockhart will simply complicate development and create instances where developers hold back their next-gen games to cater to Lockhart's lower-end hardware. The truth is this is already going to happen regardless if Lockhart releases or not. Every major first-party Xbox game will release on Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Windows 10 PCs, and the new next-gen systems, meaning scaling is something they're used to and already have to do.

It's also worth mentioning that first-party Xbox Studios devs will have the best-optimized games for next-gen simply because they're closer to Microsoft and the source of the hardware. And they've also been instrumental to shaping the hardware from the get-go, similar to how Turn10 helped shape the Xbox One X back in 2016.

If anything it'll be third-party devs that run into potential issues, which will likely be mitigated by Microsoft's strong and easy-to-use SDK platform.

The only thing I'm worried about is Lockhart's name. Will it be the Xbox Series S? If so...the abbreviation would be Xbox SS, and I don't think that's an image Microsoft wants to embrace.

Microsoft plans to release the Xbox Series X in Holiday 2020. No info has been confirmed or announced on Lockhart, but we could hear more news at E3 2020.

Check below for confirmed specs and details, and a huge content listing of everything we've heard about Xbox Series X and Lockhart so far:

Xbox Series X confirmed details (Formerly Project Scarlett):

  • 8-core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU
  • Navi GPU on RDNA architecture
  • Highly customized 7nm SoC from AMD
  • GDDR6 memory
  • 2x Xbox One X's 6TFLOPs of GPU perf
  • 4x CPU power of Xbox One generation
  • Can deliver up to 40x more performance than Xbox One in specific use cases
  • Adaptive sync supported
  • Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM
  • Supports 8K resolution (likely media playback)
  • 120FPS gaming
  • Variable refresh rate (adaptive sync/FreeSync)
  • Variable Rate Shading
  • Raytracing confirmed with dedicated raytracing cores
  • Backward compatible with thousands of Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games
  • New controller with a dedicated share button
  • Compatible with Xbox One accessories

Lockhart (Unconfirmed lower-end Xbox Series hardware)

  • 1440p 60FPS
  • No disc drive
  • Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM
  • 7nm AMD SoC w/ scaled-down 8-core, 16 thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHZ and Navi GPU
  • Lower GDDR6 memory pool (Possibly 12GB)
  • ~6-8 TFLOPs of power?
  • Aims to rival PS4 Pro/Replace Xbox One S
  • Full backward compatibility with all Xbox One games
  • Cheaper MSRP

Anaconda/Xbox Series X/Project Scarlett

  • 4K 60FPS
  • Disc drive with 4K UHD playback
  • Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM
  • 7nm AMD SoC with 8-core, 16 thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHz and Navi GPU
  • 16GB GDDR6 RAM
  • 12 TFLOPs of power
  • 2x GPU power as Xbox One X/aims to replace Xbox One X
  • Full backward compatibility with all Xbox One games
  • More expensive MSRP

Xbox Series X coverage:

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