Microsoft is still planning two Project Scarlett Xbox consoles – report

Microsoft is still planning to launch a second, lower-spec version of its next-generation Xbox 2 (Project Scarlett) games console, according to a new report.

Despite speculation a cheaper, all-digital version of the Xbox 2, codenamed Lockhart, had been cancelled, Kotaku sources say it is alive and well.

According to those familiar with the development, the higher-end version of Scarlett (dubbed Anaconda internally) will succeed the Xbox One X, while Lockhart will pick up where the Xbox One S left off.

Just as with the current generation, developers are being asked to develop their games to suit both consoles, according to today’s report, which also points out developers are concerned this may limit the scope of their ambitions.

Related: Xbox 2 (Project Scarlett) – All you need to know

The report also lists Microsoft’s performance targets for both consoles, with Lockhart perhaps not even targeting 4K resolution. The source says the firm is shooting for 1440p resolution, rather than 4K’s 2160, and 60-frames-per-second. Meanwhile, it says Anaconda is targeting native 4K resolution at 60-frames-per-second, while offering a more powerful CPU.

With this in mind, it’s likely that Microsoft will use the all-digital Lockhart console as a vessel for its xCloud game streaming’s services as well as the digital Xbox Game Pass, which offers access to library of titles for a monthly fee.

The report doesn’t offer any new insight into how much Microsoft might charge for the console, or whether the two will be released concurrently, but considering the resolution may max out at 1440p, it may be cheaper than many expected.

This is a somewhat surprising development considering the trail had gone cold lately regarding the prospect of a second console. That was largely because Microsoft began talking about Scarlett as a single console that would “set a new bar for console power, speed and performance.”

The plot, it doth thicken.

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