Thursday, 02 July, 2020

Microsoft flexes Xbox Series X muscle, doesn't need to brag TFLOPs

Cecil Davis | 29 June, 2020, 22:25

This highly rumored console, also sometimes called "Project Lockhart", is supposedly a less powerful, all-digital variant of the Xbox Series X, which will leverage Xbox Game Pass subscriptions for entry-level gamers who want a foot in the door of the Microsoft gaming ecosystem.

But now Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X, Jason Ronald, said during an interview published on Spanish site Xataka could've used the same things Sony did during its PS5 reveal and detailing of specs in the recent months.

The console is expected to release alongside the Series X later this year, with sources indicating it will be dubbed the "Xbox Series S". That is, if it really exists. Of course, E3 2020 never happened, due to ongoing public health concerns.

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On paper, this would put the Xbox Lockhart below the Xbox One X, which offers 6 TFLOPS of performance and 9GB of RAM useable by games. In May, the company had a big video presentation about third-party games, and will do the same thing in July for first-party titles. While Microsoft didn't stray too far from the tried-and-tested "black rectangle" with the Xbox Series X, Sony shook things up with its futuristic design that packs sleek curves and sharp angles into its pristine, white form factor. However, it's worth pointing out that Microsoft is not beholden to anyone's schedule except its own. When E3 was canceled, plans were shuffled around and Xbox spread its reveals throughout the year.

The rumored console is now in development under the codename "Lockhart" and serves as a cheaper alternative to the anticipated console. Gamers can expect the PS5 Digital Edition to be cheaper than the standard model, as the Digital Edition excludes a disk drive. Twitter user's @XB1_HexDecimal's leak appears to be documentation for the June 2020 Game Development Kit for the next-generation Xbox console. "We could have used forced clocks, we could have used variable clock rates: the reality is that it makes it harder for developers to optimize their games even though it would have allowed us to boast higher TFLOPS than we already had, for example". It seems to suggest that Xbox Series X game developers have access to development profiles for both Anaconda and Lockhart.

But more than anything else, Microsoft has to respond to Sony's PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, a disk-less version of the upcoming next-generation console.