Microsoft continues to place the focus on just one next-gen Xbox Series X console launching, but behind the scenes a second, cheaper and lower-performance console is being prepared. At least, that’s what a growing amount of evidence suggests.
As The Verge reports, a freshly leaked Xbox Development Kit document, via Twitter user TitleOS, includes two references to a LockhartProfiling mode. Lockhart is the codename long associated with a budget next-gen Xbox console, so a profiling mode suggests Microsoft is allowing game developers to test their games against this lower-performance, buit still next-gen platform.
Sony has already revealed there’s two PS5 consoles, but the only different there seems to be the lack of an Ultra HD Blu-ray optical drive on the digital edition. For Lockhart, we’re expecting a significant downgrade in performance compared to the Xbox Series X, and now we’re getting the first hints of how big of a performance gap there is.
“Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Xbox plans” have told The Verge that Lockhart is a console with 7.5GB of usable RAM, an underclocked main processor, and targets 4 teraflops of GPU performance. It’s also expected to be aimed at 1080p gaming, or possibly 1440p. Now compare that to the Xbox Series X, which includes 13.5GB of usable RAM and offers 12 teraflops of performance while targeting 4K gaming.
While Lockhart may be of no interest to early adopters and those wanting a truly next-gen experience, it may serve Microsoft well in helping to entice Xbox One owners over to the new generation by offering a much cheaper console. It could also convince a few PS4 owners to make the switch if the PS5 turns out to be a very expensive console.