Opinion | The Xbox Lockhart is to the Xbox Anaconda as the Xbox One S All Digital Edition is to the Xbox One X
Rumours about an Xbox console codenamed "Lockhart" have re-emerged, this time proliferated by Jason Schreier of Kotaku. While Windows Central first reported on Lockhart about a year ago, news about the console died down after Microsoft seemingly only referred to one Project Scarlett console at E3 this year. The Verge announced the death of Lockhart in June, although following the train of sources for this claim ended with yet more speculation. Now, Schreier reports to have received information from at least "one game developer briefed on Lockhart" and up to "four people briefed on the company's plans" that Lockhart remains in development.
Not only has Schreier stated that Lockhart will have a weaker GPU and less RAM than Anaconda, but also that the former will be a digital-only console. Lockhart would still have access to the same library of games as Anaconda, but it would be restricted to downloading them from the Microsoft Store. Schreier claims that Microsoft will promote Lockhart alongside its xCloud and Xbox Game Pass services too, but this reads as more speculative than information from industry sources.
In effect, Lockhart appears to be a Project Scarlett version of the Xbox One S All Digital Edition, with Microsoft doing away with an Xbox One S equivalent SKU. According to Schreier, Lockhart will be capable of running at 1440p and 60 FPS, with Anaconda capable of 60 FPS 4K gaming. While we imagine that up to 1440p would be fine for most console gamers, the restriction to digital-only game purchases may be a bitter pill to swallow. Anecdotally, older Xbox One games tend to be cheaper second-hand than on the Microsoft Store, as are some brand-new titles too.
Ultimately, it would seem odd for Microsoft only to release one digital-only console. The plethora of digital gaming services that it now offers almost negates needing to buy a physical game anymore, at any rate.