Xbox Series X hype train is heating up. With all the specs out in the open, the attention has turned to games, features, and the long-rumored Xbox Lockhart, what will effectively be a less-powerful, more-affordable "Xbox Series S."
There are tons of rumors about upcoming events, game reveals, and beyond, so I thought I'd round up what's out there, what we know, and sprinkle in some good old-fashioned speculation for good measure.
'Xbox Series S,' a.k.a., Xbox 'Lockhart'
As per some of our earlier information on Xbox "Lockhart" and the Xbox Series X, we're expecting Lockhart to be a 4TF "entry-point" to next-gen gaming, and it should effectively replace the Xbox One X. This system is designed to be affordable but will offer aspects of a next-gen experience currently unavailable to past-gen consoles, presumably in the form of NVME loading speeds and perhaps some limited ray-tracing. We have no idea about the capabilities of Lockhart outside that magical "4TF" GPU number, which came alongside more of our detailed Xbox Series X info that turned out to be accurate.
Recently, we heard Lockhart is entering take home stages for Xbox employees to get their hands on the system and begin providing feedback and testing. The timing would indicate to me that rumors of upcoming showcases in early May are likely accurate. This is coupled with rumors from our Senior Editor Zac Bowden that Microsoft is gearing up to showcase new Surface hardware in May, as well.
A new wireless headset
In addition to Lockhart potentially moving out of the lab into the homes of internal Microsoft testers, we've heard Team Xbox is building a replacement for its 2014 Xbox Stereo Headset. If our sourcing on this is accurate, the new headset will be fully wireless, compatible with Xbox, PC, and mobile devices, presumably via separate Bluetooth and Xbox Wireless signals.
It could be Xbox's answer to the Surface Headphones, albeit with some of the more "premium" features stripped out. Given that the previous 2014 Xbox Stereo Headset was very much an entry-level affair, this may also be designed with entry-level users in mind, allowing for third-parties to target the more premium-end with the likes of the SteelSeries Arctis 9X and the Astro A50. It could also go the other way entirely, offering something at the premium-end as an "aspirational" product similar to the rest of the Surface product line.
What about Microsoft's Xbox events in this spring?
Whether Xbox Lockhart will break cover in May is unknown, but based on its imminent take-home status and the oddly coincidental (and wholly separately sourced) timing of the Surface rumors suggest an early May reveal could be on the money. With E3 2020 canceled, Microsoft perhaps has a bit more leeway in terms of what it can do with regards to marketing and its upcoming events, spreading them across a wider range of dates. A couple of Xbox YouTubers with good track records for accurate information have suggested a May event, as well, to coincide with the previously-announced digital showcases Microsoft mentioned would replace its E3 showing in June.
We've heard Microsoft may also be gearing up to show off a few upcoming games as part of its May press releases. Long-standing rumors of a Fable reboot under Playground Games make for an obvious candidate, but we've also barely seen anything about Halo Infinite, which is supposedly launching later this year presuming "work from home" delays are avoided.
Whether this will be a full-blown showcase event like Inside Xbox, a trailer reveal as we saw for Hellblade II, or a third-party deep dive with the expertise of outlets like Digital Foundry is completely unknown. But as they say, there's typically no smoke without fire.
Exciting times ahead for Xbox — and for you
As always, take these rumors with a pinch of salt. Plans can change, more so than ever in our present era of flux and chaos, but we're confident that Xbox fans could have something to look forward to in early May.
Xbox Game Studios is growing far bigger, far faster than the team ever has in previous years under Microsoft, adding hundreds of new posts across tons of game studios. Not only should this lead to bigger, bolder worlds but also more exclusives to bolster Xbox Game Pass on console and PC, and the platform in general, which has been on the back foot in terms of content throughout the Xbox One generation.
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