Microsoft unveiled its next-generation Xbox Project Scarlett console on stage at E3 earlier this month, but many had expected two consoles to be revealed. Previously, smoking suggested that Microsoft worked on a few new devices: a codenamed Anaconda that would be high-end and another codenamed Lockhart that would be the more affordable solution. Thurrott.com reports that Microsoft is now focused only on a high-end Xbox console during the broader Project Scarlett effort.
While Xbox manager Phil Spencer revealed, the company was "deeply into building the next Xbox consoles" at E3 last year, the plans have clearly changed, as only Project Scarlett was mentioned as a single console this year. Thurrott reported earlier that Scarlett would send with both a high-end console and a limited-amount cloud-based console "for specific tasks such as controller input, image processing, and more important collision detection." Windows Central has previously also claimed that a cheaper Xbox One S style console, codenamed Lockhart, would appear in the 2020 holiday (the original article has since been removed).
Spencer addressed the use of "consoles" during an interview Business Insider . "Last year we said consoles and we have sent a console and we have now described another console. I think it's the majority," Spencer says. "We are currently focused on Project Scarlett and what we put on stage."
Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans tell The Verge that the plans of Lockhart were scrapped many weeks ago, thanks to the developer's concerns and a greater focus on xCloud. While Microsoft can introduce a basic box to access xCloud in the future, the focus is a single Project Scarlett console for launch in vacation 2020 along with Halo Infinite .
We understand the feedback from developers and Microsoft's changing plans for underlying xCloud hardware have pushed the company to focus on only a next generation of Xbox. Digital Foundry first reported that Lockhart "certainly seems" to have been killed recently by developer confusion. Thurrott also suggests that developers focused too much on optimizing for the lower specifications of Lockhart than the real next gen Scarlett console.
Microsoft's strategic shift has also been driven by its xCloud plans. The software manufacturer originally planned to launch xCloud in beta with developers in mind to help them build cloud games instead of using local debugging machines and then launching the service to consumers later. Microsoft has significantly increased its xCloud investment over the past year and has also reduced its public test ambitions as it works to adapt the underlying hardware that drives the service to better deliver console streaming, PC & # 39; and TV & # 39; is.
Microsoft had predicted Google's entry into cloud game streaming, originally revealed as Project Stream back in October, but Google's progress on launch plans is far ahead of Microsoft's own. Verge originally revealed Microsoft's xCloud plans back in July before Google's Project Stream test in October. Just one week after Google's announcement, Microsoft confirmed the xCloud name and promised public trials in 2019. Originally, Microsoft promised gaming streaming to consoles, PCs and mobile devices, but the company has now cut its plans to focus on phones at the start.  Microsoft has been trying to get rid of Google Stage messages ever since. The company demonstrated xCloud for the first time a week before Google's Stadia detection, and then randomly revealed xCloud will support 3,500 games two weeks ahead of Google's Stage price and game details. Microsoft then went into E3 with little to say about xCloud, except for hints that the underlying hardware should change.
While Microsoft originally revealed as a service built from Xbox One S hardware (four consoles per Server Sheet), the company now focuses its xCloud future on the power of the upcoming Scarlett console. "Project Scarlett and all its power and all its achievements are the foundation of our future in the console and the formation of our future in the cloud," Spencer said during his E3 keynote. Focusing exclusively on a Scarlett console in the living room and in the cloud, partnering with Sony and scraping off multi-console plans makes much more sense for Microsoft as it seeks to fight for a new and formidable competitor.