New leak references a second, possibly cheaper Xbox Series X

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,398   +553
Staff member
Rumor mill: We still don't know how much Sony and Microsoft's next-gen consoles are going to cost, but we do know that Sony will have a second, more affordable PS5. Despite numerous leaks and rumors, Microsoft has continuously maintained that it only has one console in the works. However, more evidence has surfaced that indicates Redmond has a surprise up its sleeve.

It has only been a couple of weeks since Sony revealed it would have two versions of the PlayStation 5 at launch. Now a leak on Twitter appears to indicate Microsoft will have two next-gen Xbox consoles as well. Self-described "infosec engineer" TitleOS posted screenshots (below) of alleged Microsoft documentation that reference a second console different from the Xbox Series X.

The documents are supposedly XDK and GDK release notes for developers. The snippets mention two modes pertaining to graphics—AnacondaProfiling and LockhartProfiling.

"GPU Capture may fail in LockhartProfiling mode if the title is using all available title memory," says one set of notes.

"The following console modes are supported in the June 2020 GDK. Scarlett Dev Kit: default, AnacondaProfiling, and LockhartProfiling modes," reads the other.

As you may recall, back in late 2018, rumors circulated that Microsoft had two versions of the next Xbox in development under the Project Scarlett umbrella—a premium one codenamed Anaconda and a cheaper version called Lockhart. Microsoft's vice president of gaming Phil Spencer dispelled these rumors at E3 2019.

Spencer played off his slip up during E3 2018 when he mentioned the company was working on "consoles" as a misunderstanding because he was referring to the Xbox One refresh—the Xbox One S.

"Last year we said consoles, and we've shipped a console [XB1S], and we've now detailed another console. I think that's plural," said the Xbox boss at E3 2019. "Right now, we're focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage [aka Anaconda]."

However, later that year, multiple anonymous game developers confirmed that there is indeed a second console (LockHart) slated to release with the Xbox Series X (Anaconda). Microsoft has not announced a second version and never commented on the leak from developers.

According to sources that spoke with The Verge, Anaconda and Lockhart profiling modes are part of the XBSX devkit. These modes allow developers to switch to Lockhart mode to test games with the machine's lower specs without having to use two separate devkits.

Microsoft has not announced a second unit, so don't bet the farm on two Xbox consoles being launched later this year. However, taking all of the rumors together and noting that Sony has already confirmed a second, cheaper PS5, the likelihood that Microsoft is doing the same is strong.

Image credit: Mr.Mikla

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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,138   +1,833
Digital only consoles seem like a false economy to me, when the only game in town is the manufacturer's storefront.

I'll save a lot more picking up secondhand or flash sale hard copies over 5-6 years than the $100 less a disc-less machine might cost.

I think Microsoft might actually do more than just remove a disc drive though, I think they may have scaled back processing hardware too. They want this two pronged attack, most powerful and cheapest, hit Sony from both sides.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,398   +553
Staff member
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"the likelihood that Sony has a scaled-down console ready and Microsoft doesn't is pretty slim"
I see what You did there... ;-)
HAHA! Totally unintentional.
Digital only consoles seem like a false economy to me, when the only game in town is the manufacturer's storefront.

I'll save a lot more picking up secondhand or flash sale hard copies over 5-6 years than the $100 less a disc-less machine might cost.

I think Microsoft might actually do more than just remove a disc drive though, I think they may have scaled back processing hardware too. They want this two pronged attack, most powerful and cheapest, hit Sony from both sides.
The leaks, including this one, seem to indicate that is the case. Early rumors said Lockhart would "offer performance comparable to the current Xbox One X." That was in 2018, though. It could have changed spec design to be a bit more powerfull than that since then. However, if, as the leak suggests, the devkits have modes to emulate different specs, it is likely that the Lockhart (Xbox Series S) will not just be a XBSX sans optical drive.
 
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brucek

Posts: 398   +440
Wait, to get sale pricing on consoles, you have to buy optical media? That sounds horrible and I'm not talking about having to pay for the optical drive. Even if it were free I'm years past wanting anything to do with a DVD or BluRay disc. I guess it's good to be a PC gamer.
 
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GeforcerFX

Posts: 944   +437
If I had to guess Lockhart is scaled down on ram to 12gb and runs the same CPU but maybe a bit lower clock rate (save power) and a half sized GPU (similar to 6 TFLOPS in xbox one x). You save on the PSU, smaller cooling, less/cheaper ram and less expensive chip (smaller = higher yield, or cut down chips that didn't make the cut to be full anaconda chips), and can prob fit in a box the same size as the xbox one x, while gaining a lot of CPU performance and reduced load time (with SSD) over the xbox one x.
 
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Irata

Posts: 584   +752
TechSpot Elite
Offering a slimmed down version for 1080p only gaming might be a good idea. If that makes it cheaper, why not ?

Digital only consoles seem like a false economy to me, when the only game in town is the manufacturer's storefront.

I'll save a lot more picking up secondhand or flash sale hard copies over 5-6 years than the $100 less a disc-less machine might cost.
Same here. Especially with the full backwards compatibility, you can score original XBox and XB 360 discs for close to nothing.

Have several games that I bought for cheap used, in store close-outs....would not want to miss that opportunity.

The discless version might make sense for someone going for the XBOX Ultimate game pass though, but for me, no. Also, I still have movies on DVD and Blu-Ray, so being able to play them is a plus.

What games are on the Xbox that I can’t play on my PC?
Guess it's not for you then.That begs the question why you even bothered to read and reply to this article - not that you can't, but it seems like a waste of time, really.
 

Lounds

Posts: 447   +333
If I had to guess Lockhart is scaled down on ram to 12gb and runs the same CPU but maybe a bit lower clock rate (save power) and a half sized GPU (similar to 6 TFLOPS in xbox one x). You save on the PSU, smaller cooling, less/cheaper ram and less expensive chip (smaller = higher yield, or cut down chips that didn't make the cut to be full anaconda chips), and can prob fit in a box the same size as the xbox one x, while gaining a lot of CPU performance and reduced load time (with SSD) over the xbox one x.
Seems like a good estimate tbf. AMD produce millions of the 8 core Zen2 chips already so they're not that expensive to manufacture. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony and Microsoft are getting them for £80/$100 for the CPU alone.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 642   +364
Offering a slimmed down version for 1080p only gaming might be a good idea. If that makes it cheaper, why not ?



Same here. Especially with the full backwards compatibility, you can score original XBox and XB 360 discs for close to nothing.

Have several games that I bought for cheap used, in store close-outs....would not want to miss that opportunity.

The discless version might make sense for someone going for the XBOX Ultimate game pass though, but for me, no. Also, I still have movies on DVD and Blu-Ray, so being able to play them is a plus.



Guess it's not for you then.That begs the question why you even bothered to read and reply to this article - not that you can't, but it seems like a waste of time, really.
So by your asinine response I can assume there are no games that are exclusive to the Xbox? I was genuinely asking. Didn’t quite expect such an but-hurt response.

Now I’m left wondering why anyone with a brain would pick an Xbox over a PC.
 

Irata

Posts: 584   +752
TechSpot Elite
So by your asinine response I can assume there are no games that are exclusive to the Xbox? I was genuinely asking. Didn’t quite expect such an but-hurt response.

Now I’m left wondering why anyone with a brain would pick an Xbox over a PC.
It‘s not a butt hurt response - you do you.
I just find it a bit tiresome to keep reading the PC masterrace type comments under console articles.

Who would buy an XBox or Playstation ? Maybe people who want hassle free gaming at a lower cost of entry ? 🤔

Either way, I have both a PC and a console and could not care less which of the two anyone prefers.
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 642   +364
It‘s not a butt hurt response - you do you.
I just find it a bit tiresome to keep reading the PC masterrace type comments under console articles.

Who would buy an XBox or Playstation ? Maybe people who want hassle free gaming at a lower cost of entry ? 🤔

Either way, I have both a PC and a console and could not care less which of the two anyone prefers.
Apparently you do care, you care so much to get triggered when someone asks about Xbox exclusives! Thank you for assuming that I am an intolerant “pc master racer”. I was just asking. I’ve owned many consoles. Currently I have a switch, there arent any games I want enough on PS4 or Xbox one for me to get either.

Although I do want the FF7 remake so hopefully il be able to get a cheap PS4 after the PS5 releases, or maybe it will come to the PC. If there are no games that are on Xbox but not PC then I definitely won’t get an Xbox.

However there’s a chance I may grab a PS5 if enough of my mates are playing and I don’t want to miss out.

What games are exclusive to Xbox/PC and not on PS4? Please don’t get angry at this question, I genuinely don’t know..
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 48   +16
Wait, to get sale pricing on consoles, you have to buy optical media? That sounds horrible and I'm not talking about having to pay for the optical drive. Even if it were free I'm years past wanting anything to do with a DVD or BluRay disc. I guess it's good to be a PC gamer.
Except even we would have better deals of disc based games were still a thing not to mention we completely lost the resale market (of what we actually had) completely.

Digital has never really done what I always thought it would do which is reduce the cost of the products overall since they are saving the distribution costs. In fact its been the exact opposite many many times a disc bade version of a game can be found for less than a digital version.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 48   +16
Apparently you do care, you care so much to get triggered when someone asks about Xbox exclusives! Thank you for assuming that I am an intolerant “pc master racer”. I was just asking. I’ve owned many consoles. Currently I have a switch, there arent any games I want enough on PS4 or Xbox one for me to get either.

Although I do want the FF7 remake so hopefully il be able to get a cheap PS4 after the PS5 releases, or maybe it will come to the PC. If there are no games that are on Xbox but not PC then I definitely won’t get an Xbox.

However there’s a chance I may grab a PS5 if enough of my mates are playing and I don’t want to miss out.

What games are exclusive to Xbox/PC and not on PS4? Please don’t get angry at this question, I genuinely don’t know..
Halo, gears, forza horizon/motorsports, RARE games, hellblade, and anything the dozen or so studios now owned by Microsoft.

It's hard to say beyond those titles what we will care about in 5 to 7 years but in 2006-2012 I couldn't care less about ps3 but by 2015 I was definitely interested in Sonys exclusives.

Even with that my favorite game previously was the last of us and yet now with the sequel I couldn't care less about the series future (and I couldn't care less about the political agenda / sjw / etc type stuff) game series come and go is all I'm saying.
 

brucek

Posts: 398   +440
Wow, we're living in different worlds. My game collection is full of top shelf titles that cost less than $10 when I bought them a couple years past initial release (not a hardship considering the backlog I have to work through, and I appreciate the bugs having been fixed and all DLC being included.)

Plus I'd have been willing to pay extra money anyway not to have to store optical media, get the optical media to the room/device I want to play on, to not have to worry about having lost or scratched the optical media, and finally to not have to wait for the slow-as-molasses optical media to load.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 48   +16
Apparently you do care, you care so much to get triggered when someone asks about Xbox exclusives! Thank you for assuming that I am an intolerant “pc master racer”. I was just asking. I’ve owned many consoles. Currently I have a switch, there arent any games I want enough on PS4 or Xbox one for me to get either.

Although I do want the FF7 remake so hopefully il be able to get a cheap PS4 after the PS5 releases, or maybe it will come to the PC. If there are no games that are on Xbox but not PC then I definitely won’t get an Xbox.

However there’s a chance I may grab a PS5 if enough of my mates are playing and I don’t want to miss out.

What games are exclusive to Xbox/PC and not on PS4? Please don’t get angry at this question, I genuinely don’t know..
I have to agree with him even as someone with a PC most PCMR typed would die to have, I can't stand the full of themselves attitude of so many pc gamers. It's always those with barley better than console levels of hardware that seem to feel this way which just comes off like a inferiority complex.

I have a pc with roughly $10,000 invested including until I sold them last week 2x 2080ti and just upgraded to a 10900k (along with complete hard-line custom watercooling).

Even with all this Ive still been playing my ps4 pro more in the last few weeks because no matter how great my pc is there's just some games you can't play on it. Just like there are many I can't play on the Playstation as well.

The fact is if you're a true fan of "great gaming" you know that all platforms have their reasons to own. It's why I have not only the ps4 pro but a switch as well and though I don't own a Xbox console it's only because Microsoft has made that a non requirement to play their games (which I absolutely appreciate). I still use their Xbox elite as my main controller (even on the other consoles) and I'm fully invested in their platform via 3 full years prepaid of Xbox game pass ultimate.

My point is that unless you own all platforms and can say you have access to every great game wherever it may be you're "experience" is still inferior so stop pretending like you have it best.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 48   +16
What games are on the Xbox that I can’t play on my PC?
Halo 5 forza 5 and a few others for sure. The early releases for Xbox one many were never ported to pc.

Not to mention the entirety of the back catalog from Xbox 360 and Xbox (2001) that is playable on an Xbox one (and even in 4k/upgraded on xbox one x)

They'll be even more upgraded with things like hdr and double fps come series x.


So from a archival purpose of your interested in continuing to play the older games one of the Xbox consoles is still a good choice and of you're on a tight budget AND this stuff still matters to you then it makes more sense then a somewhat equally priced pc.
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 93   +23
What they mean with scaled down? Digital only? It could makes sense. An inferior performance hardware ? That would be a huge mistake that will hold back the whole game industry in a few years. Developers would settle for the lower standard.
 

MaxSmarties

Posts: 93   +23
Digital only consoles seem like a false economy to me, when the only game in town is the manufacturer's storefront.

I'll save a lot more picking up secondhand or flash sale hard copies over 5-6 years than the $100 less a disc-less machine might cost.

I think Microsoft might actually do more than just remove a disc drive though, I think they may have scaled back processing hardware too. They want this two pronged attack, most powerful and cheapest, hit Sony from both sides.
Well, to be honest even digitally delivered games are on sale on the store after a while.
I don’t remember the last time I bought a disc
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 222   +399
Now I’m left wondering why anyone with a brain would pick an Xbox over a PC.
1. Because they have a diverse friends list going back 10 years of people they enjoy playing with on the Xbox platform?

2. Because PC ports are a 50/50 crapshoot as to whether they're going to be decent or buggy Denuvo loaded garbage?
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 222   +399
What they mean with scaled down? Digital only? It could makes sense. An inferior performance hardware ? That would be a huge mistake that will hold back the whole game industry in a few years. Developers would settle for the lower standard.
If Xbox offered the Series S for dirt cheap ($99) or even for free, but you're locked into 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate ($14.99/mo), it could seriously disrupt the industry.
 

brucek

Posts: 398   +440
If Xbox offered the Series S for dirt cheap ($99) or even for free, but you're locked into 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate ($14.99/mo), it could seriously disrupt the industry.
Interesting idea. Not sure the math works? 24 months x $15 = $360, which is barely enough to cover the hardware discount. That's before taking into account that Game Pass revenue is shared with the game developers providing those games, and that Microsoft planned to be earning that Game Pass revenue on top of at least some console sales, not instead of console sales. Finally there'd be an issue with the retailer channel, because they will still demand the equivalent margin to what they've been getting to date. But yes, of course, lower sales price will move more units for sure, provided all involved are still getting paid enough to stay in the business.
 

OptimumSlinky

Posts: 222   +399
Interesting idea. Not sure the math works? 24 months x $15 = $360, which is barely enough to cover the hardware discount. That's before taking into account that Game Pass revenue is shared with the game developers providing those games, and that Microsoft planned to be earning that Game Pass revenue on top of at least some console sales, not instead of console sales. Finally there'd be an issue with the retailer channel, because they will still demand the equivalent margin to what they've been getting to date. But yes, of course, lower sales price will move more units for sure, provided all involved are still getting paid enough to stay in the business.
True, but...

1. I doubt the cut publishers get from either Game Pass or the Xbox Store is more than 20-30%, so the bulk of the profit goes to Microsoft.

2. 24x15 = $360, and this console will probably cost anywhere from $150-$200 to manufacture since it can effectively be cast parts from the Series X. Take GPU silicon that wasn't good enough for 52 CUs, chop it down to 24-36 CUs, and there's your Series S GPU. So again, still making profit.

3. If the console was dirt cheap or even free up front, you'd have potentially exponential user base growth, which would make up per-unit profit with volume.

4. MS doesn't even have to offer it at brick and mortar retailers. Make is a Microsoft.com special deal or something if they wanted to. So much retail is purchased online anyways that it's not a stretch.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 642   +364
Halo 5 forza 5 and a few others for sure. The early releases for Xbox one many were never ported to pc.

Not to mention the entirety of the back catalog from Xbox 360 and Xbox (2001) that is playable on an Xbox one (and even in 4k/upgraded on xbox one x)

They'll be even more upgraded with things like hdr and double fps come series x.


So from a archival purpose of your interested in continuing to play the older games one of the Xbox consoles is still a good choice and of you're on a tight budget AND this stuff still matters to you then it makes more sense then a somewhat equally priced pc.
I was referring to the new Xbox console coming, what the announced exclusives? I can’t think of a single one. As for Halo 5 and Forza 5, they don’t interest me. I would have bought an Xbox one by now if they did.

But I’m no pc master race snob, I won’t hate on the Xbox or the PlayStation. But as someone with an expensive, modern gaming pc it’s highly likely that if I do buy a console it will be a ps5. As there are games on it that I want to play that I can’t play on my pc!

But when I think about it, I hate the idea of exclusive games. It’s definitely better when you don’t have to buy a specific console to play something. So hats off to MS. But yeah they will sell less consoles because of this..
 
True, but...

1. I doubt the cut publishers get from either Game Pass or the Xbox Store is more than 20-30%, so the bulk of the profit goes to Microsoft.

2. 24x15 = $360, and this console will probably cost anywhere from $150-$200 to manufacture since it can effectively be cast parts from the Series X. Take GPU silicon that wasn't good enough for 52 CUs, chop it down to 24-36 CUs, and there's your Series S GPU. So again, still making profit.

3. If the console was dirt cheap or even free up front, you'd have potentially exponential user base growth, which would make up per-unit profit with volume.

4. MS doesn't even have to offer it at brick and mortar retailers. Make is a Microsoft.com special deal or something if they wanted to. So much retail is purchased online anyways that it's not a stretch.
Seriously, you think Microsoft only gives 20% to game developers? That's laughable. You should look up the costs involved in producing triple A games. Using your math, Microsoft would only have solitaire and minesweeper in its library because there'd be nothing else.