MICROSOFT LOOKS SET to make a disc-less Xbox to go alongside its Project Scarlett machine that's slated for release in late 2020.
That's according to Jason Schreier from games publication Kotaku, who heard from loose-lipped people familiar with Microsoft's console plans that the disc-free console will be codenamed "Lockhart".
This isn't the first time we've heard that Microsoft would make two next-generation Xbox consoles, as early rumoured claimed the full-fat console was codenamed ‘Anaconda'. But then Redmond revealed that the new console was being developed under the Project Scarlett name, and there was no mention of a lower-powered disc-less console.
But it now seems there was some weight behind these early rumours. And it would make sense for Microsoft to develop a cheaper, lower-powered Xbox console that instead taps into the power of its cloud infrastructure, given it's already doing that with Project xCloud, which is currently in beta.
Microsoft also released the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which took the Xbox One S console and equipped it with a bigger 1TB hard drive but dropped the Blu-ray player, meaning the console is reliant on digital game downloads.
Schreier's report suggests that Lockhart will be more like a traditional games console than just a streaming box, so it would be more of a successor to the Xbox One S than that of the more powerful Xbox One X.
But this was all based on Schreier's conversations with developers rather than any official word, so there's a lot of scope for speculation here rather than any hard facts.
While images of PlayStation 5 development kit seem to be popping up, Microsoft has been pretty tight-lipped on its next-gen console machinations. However, 'Holiday 2020' is still a year away, so we can expect to see more Project Scarlett news pop up once we get a decent way into next year. µ
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