Microsoft document leak suggests a cheaper next-gen Xbox is coming

It would be aimed at 1080p gamers who don't need the best tech.

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The rumors of Microsoft producing a lower-end counterpart to the Xbox Series X just got some support. The Verge reports that a leaked Microsoft document from this month makes multiple references to “Lockhart,” a budget (and possibly cloud-oriented) console for those content with 1080p gaming. The file makes multiple references to the Xbox Series X developer kit including profiling modes that target code for the system, suggesting that Lockhart is a cut-down version of modern hardware rather than a repackaged Xbox One.

While the document doesn’t outline the performance, The Verge understands that Lockhart will have considerably less usable RAM than the Series X (7.5GB versus 13.5GB), an underclocked CPU and a GPU with just four teraflops of performance versus the Series X’s 12. There have been previous references to Lockhart in Xbox One software along with the Series X (originally nicknamed Anaconda) and the developer kit (Dante).

Microsoft hasn’t confirmed Lockhart, but it’s still believed that the system will release alongside the Series X in the fall, possibly branded as the Xbox Series S. It would not only court gamers who can’t justify the higher-end Series X, but could form a key part of Microsoft’s gaming services strategy. You could buy this basic system knowing it could play Series X-quality games in xCloud. It might also be available as part of an Xbox All Access bundle that mates a console with Game Pass Ultimate for a relatively small monthly fee. Effectively, it would be a gateway into the Xbox ecosystem.