While there have been plenty of rumors about the Xbox Series S (aka Lockhart), a lower powered and digital only version of the Xbox Series X, but most of it has come in the form of leakers or insiders without concrete evidence of the products existence.
Today we can add another solid piece to the Xbox Series S puzzle though as the release notes for the Microsoft Game Developer Kit for June 2020 were posted on Twitter by @XB1_HexDecimal and it includes reference to Lockhart (via Windows Central).
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The specific reference in this case is to "LockhartProfiling mode." It appears to be dealing with the more limited memory available on the Xbox Series S as compared to the Xbox Series X which is identified with "AnacondaProfiling mode."
While the actual specs are unknown, previous rumors have suggested that the Xbox Series S will be capable of something around 4 teraflops as compared to the 12TF of Xbox Series X. The console would be limited to 1080p resolution and would target an aggressive price point to move users on from the Xbox One generation of consoles. It's a good strategy rather than keeping those devices on well into the next generation as has been the tradition with previous console cycles.
More proof of Lockhart, this time from the XDK/GDK release notes for June 2020. pic.twitter.com/hulDoC9owvJune 24, 2020
We don't expect to see the Xbox Series S launch too close to the Xbox Series X this fall. Early next year would be the most aggressive time frame as Microsoft won't want to cannibalize the sales of its higher-end next-gen console. The rumors have suggested an aggressive price point, $200-$250 for the Xbox Series S which is plausible when viewing the Series S primarily as a method to draw subscribers into Game Pass and xCloud.
There's also always the chance that the project is scrapped at some juncture, but given the PS5 Digital Edition likely putting some price pressure on the Xbox Series X, it's easy to see how the Xbox Series S could be critical for Microsoft's success in this console generation.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.