In context: Last December we reported that Microsoft allegedly had two next-gen consoles on the works — one codenamed Anaconda that would be the powerhouse flagship and the other called Lockhart that would be a budget model like the Xbox One S, but with the performance of an XboneX. Now it appears that Microsoft is only working on one console.
Let’s set the stage here: At E3 2018, Phil Spencer mentioned that the company was already well into the design process of the next Xbox consoles — consoles with an ‘s.’ Shortly after, rumors started popping up that we would see multiple XB consoles because of Spencer’s choice of words. This rumor seemed confirmed near year’s end through a report from Windows Central.
At this year’s E3, there was no mention of two consoles; only Project Scarlett was brought up with a Holiday 2020 launch window. This fact did not refute the rumor since it was already reported that Anaconda and Lockhart were under the Project Scarlett umbrella — Microsoft could have just been playing a semantics game. However, new statements from the Xbox figurehead seems to indicate Microsoft is indeed solely focused on only one next-gen console.
“Right now, we’re focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage.”
During an interview with Business Insider, Spencer confessed that they were only working on one system. When asked about his use of the plural word “consoles” at E3 2018, Spencer explained that he was referring to Scarlett and 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,” quipped the Xbox boss. “Right now, we’re focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage [aka Anaconda].”
His excuse does seem a little flimsy. He could just be trying to put a lid on the rumors. However, it seems equally likely that Microsoft sent the plans for the lower-end console to the recycle bin in favor of pouring more focus into its next-gen money maker.
We'll likely learn more at the next-generation wars begin truly heating up.