Microsoft may have shelved plans for its next-generation alternative to the newly revealed Xbox Scarlett. This variant, code name Project Lockhart, would offer a cheaper console with a lower-end performance threshold meant to allow more people to play Xbox titles. We don’t know much about the console, but since we didn’t hear about the alternative console at E3, a cancellation may be in the cards.
We don’t know anything about Lockhart, but based on the specs of its big brother Scarlett, it would likely had aimed for a 2K-4K resolution at a minimum of 30 FPS. In essence, this would have been a low-end PC in comparison to the supposed gaming rig that Scarlett is aiming for. This is entirely speculation though, so take it with a big bag of salt.
The Project Anaconda console, which is the name for the remaining console under the wider umbrella of the Xbox Scarlett project (Yes, it is confusing), is what remains. And it’s likely that this is the console that could very well have compatibility with the full range of Xbox consoles.
This strategy is a hold-over from the Xbox One/Xbox One X strategy from this console generation, and it’s possible that the massive increases in visual quality and overall performance with the next generation of game consoles might prove too much for this same approach to work again. The Xbox Scarlett is already being claimed to be weaker by a wide margin than the PS5. And although it’s definitely too soon to say for sure, things for Microsoft might be about to get very rough.
Microsoft is planning to drop the Xbox Scarlett in 2020, and with the support for 8K resolutions and 120 FPS, game developers will be feeling increased pressure to hit these targets to effectively market their games. And Microsoft might not want to force developers and publishers to have to aim for a lower spec to hit two different Xbox SKUs. The approach makes sense, although we’ll have to wait to see more about Scarlett, like its price, to know whether this plan makes sense or not.