The secretive Project Lockhart, a disc-less counterpart to Microsoft’s Xbox Series X next-gen console, could be unveiled in August, according to a report from Eurogamer. The outlet claims that the long-rumored Lockhart is actually called the Xbox Series S and that it will be presented as an all-digital version of the console, not unlike the disc-less PlayStation 5 that was announced in June.
According to Eurogamer, Microsoft originally planned to unveil the Xbox Series S at E3 2020, along with its slate of next-gen games, but when the show was canceled and timelines were pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company was forced to rethink that strategy. Microsoft has now settled on August for the introduction of the Xbox Series S.
Although Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged the existence of its disc-less next-gen console, the Lockhart has been public knowledge for quite some time. In fact, people have been talking about this codename since at least 2018. Surprisingly, Microsoft has been shy to pull the trigger on the Xbox Series S, even though its big brother was announced in a trailer at last year’s Game Awards, a gutsy move at a show that is much smaller than E3.
Meanwhile, Sony took its time lifting the curtain off its new family of consoles, finally showing off both the standard PS5 and disc-less PS5 during its June reveal event. With all the rumors about Lockhart over the last few years, no one expected Sony to beat Microsoft to a disc-less next-gen console announcement. But here we are.
While it’s true that Sony was able to shift the next-gen conversation a bit in June after months of relative silence, Microsoft still made some smaller-scale announcements, fleshing out what games will utilize the Xbox Series X’s Smart Delivery system as well as providing the list of games that will be “Optimized for Series X” at launch. The latter initiative includes a slate of games that will showcase 4K resolution, up to 120 fps, and much faster load times. Microsoft also continued to push its new console’s innovative features and, in this writer’s opinion, further position the Xbox Series X as the more user-friendly machine, with a clearer message on backward compatibility and cloud technology.
In July, Microsoft will host a digital event to talk more about the first-party exclusives coming to the Xbox Series X. This will be a major make-or-break moment for Microsoft. Will its launch line-up and exclusives be strong enough to compete with PS5 heavy hitters like Horizon Forbidden West and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales? So far, we know two of the exclusives coming to the Xbox Series X: Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. Microsoft likely has a few other surprises up its sleeve, too.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more.