Xbox Scarlett’s been in the rumour mill for a while now, and ever since we’ve known about its existence, the reports and leaks have all stated that Microsoft are working on multiple SKUs for their next gen console. One cheaper and less powerful, and the other with much more impressive hardware but a higher price point, codenamed Lockhart and Anaconda respectively.
Recently, however, reports started emerging that Microsoft had dropped those plans, and had stopped their work on Lockhart, with the intent of going into next gen only with one, single SKU of Scarlett- the high-powered Anaconda. Now, known Xbox insider Brad Sams of Thurott, who leaked Scarlett to begin with, is backing up those reports, claiming the very same thing.
According to Sams, there are multiple reasons for this. For starters, there’s the fact that developers were having to make sure that their games would run on both the consoles. With Lockhart being significantly less powerful, games would as such have to be designed to run on it, and then scaled up to run on Anaconda as well, which would put them at a disadvantage as compared to the PS5 from a visuals and technical perspective.
Microsoft were also planning on using Lockhart as a cheaper alternative for those who want to purchase Scarlett, but don’t want to spend more on Anaconda. But with xCloud making progress and being able to run games with high fidelity and low latency on any device, Microsoft are reportedly now looking to push that further following dropping Lockhart.
That, coupled with their business model relying on selling games no matter what platform those games are on, and with margins being lower on any hardware they move, dropping Lockhart is something that’s beginning to make a lot of sense for them.
As of now, these are unconfirmed reports, so file them away as rumours, but it’s worth noting that Microsoft very pointedly did not mention multiple consoles at E3 2019, even though they did do that at their E3 the year before. xCloud is also something they’ve been pushing quite a bit, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that it becomes even more central to their strategy going forward.
We’ll keep you updated as this story develops, so stay tuned.