Microsoft is reportedly focused on developing a single console for release next year, unlike the previous reports that had claimed the existence of two consoles – one affordable low-end option and the other high-end premium version. The Xbox lovers had got an indication about the same when Microsoft’s Phil Spencer talked about just one console – its Project Scarlett – at E3 earlier this month. The other rumoured Xbox console, which was internally dubbed as Lockhart, is said to be no longer in development and Microsoft is now putting all the effort behind the premium version, internally known as Anaconda, under broader Project Scarlett efforts.
According to a report by Thurrott.com, the game developer confusion and the extra effort needed to make sure games are compatible with both consoles and work well on them are said to be the key reasons why Microsoft decided to scrap Lockhart.
“…developers were having a harder than expected time creating next-generation games that spanned across two systems with various specs,” the publication wrote. “As you might expect, developers were putting a focus on making games that would run well on the lower-end device first and then scaling them up to the higher-specced, Anaconda.”
“Keep in mind, it’s easier to scale up than it is to scale down. Because of this, next-gen Xbox games would be at performance and visual disadvantage which is not what Microsoft would like to see as it starts to go head-to-head with the next generation PlayStation,” the report added.
Phil Spencer also addressed the topic in a recent interview with Business Insider, in which he reiterated the company’s focus on Project Scarlett.
“Last year we said consoles, and we’ve shipped a console and we’ve now detailed another console. I think that’s plural,” Spencer told the publication. “Right now, we’re focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage.”
The Verge reports that Microsoft’s cloud gaming effort – xCloud – is also said to be one of the reasons behind the dismissal of Lockhart.
Like Google Stadia, Microsoft’s xCloud is going to be a game streaming service, which will allow the consumers to play games without needing a console. Microsoft is also said to be working on Console Streaming, which allows users to stream games from their consoles to other devices in home and outside.