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Why Microsoft Is Smart To Release A Cheaper Xbox Series X

New consoles are always expensive, and this trend is expected to continue with the release of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 this year. But it might not be the only next-gen system Microsoft will offer. A popular and enduring rumor is that Microsoft will also release a lower-spec, less-expensive model aimed at the more mass-market audience known by the codename Lockhart. This is a great idea--and it's a much more interesting topic to consider now that Sony has revealed its own second, presumably less expensive digital-only PS5.

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timotim52d ago

Its pretty simple. If the absolute highest power is what you seek in a next-gen console...then youre going to want an SX. However, if the cheapest, most affordable next-gen console is what you seek...then Lockhart is the console you want...assuming its announced haha.

Microsoft has both power and affordability covered.

crazyCoconuts52d ago

I think they should do exactly as Sony has done and release an all digital that's $100 cheaper. No compromise on the power. X1X is cheaper now, so let that be the new mid range.
Later, after xCloud goes GA, a streaming only box/stick would make sense that could run for like $90 with a controller

fonger0852d ago

I don’t think anyone knows the price therefore no one can say that the digital version is $100 less

timotim52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

Thats very interesting to me because before Sony announced the all digital version, most PS fans detested the idea of it to begin with. They made fun of the SAD model for the same exact reason...said it was bringing us closer to getting rid of physical discs...now all of a sudden Microsoft should do what Sony is doing??? OK

Again, having the most powerful next-gen console and the cheapest next-gen console is a VERY smart play. Both of Sony's devices will be sandwiched in the middle...this is of course only if they announce it. Why settle for $100 cheaper than your top model when they can do even better...

52d ago
RaidenBlack52d ago

The Digital Only one is going to be $50 cheaper at most.
So, speculating ... $499 and $549 for the new PS5s?

jaymacx52d ago

The price was leaked for ps5 digital on Target and was quickly taken down. For all we know the digital is $400 while the full one is $450. We will have to wait for official news though.

crazyCoconuts52d ago

@timotim I have no way of quantifying what most PS fans think, but a lot of the making fun had to do with the SAD acronym, which is kinda funny. Criticisms that the price difference was only $50 were out there. The argument of digital vs. physical rages on regardless of platform though.
I'm guessing a $100 difference because I think there's a big digital upside for Sony $ wise. We'll see...

_SilverHawk_52d ago

There's the Xbox one from 2013 thatll be able to play Xbox next generation games. Those are very cheap

Darkborn52d ago

@timotim the reason playstation fans hated how Microsoft did an AL digital edition was also in part to how hey wanted to get rid of game trading and put DRM and a bunch of other stuff into the original Xbox one just a couple years earlier. They basically wanted to take away your rights and then released a console that would legit take away your rights a little later if they got their way.

CaptainCook52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

Without the blu-ray discs it's usually $50 dollars cheaper. Is Sony overcharging for the console physical version?

ColdSin52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

The X1X doesn't have the technology that XSS has. XSS is supposed to have the same architecture as the XSX in terms of the storage technology, CPU, and GPU. In other words, there are games that can be made on the Series S that cannot be made on the One X.

darthv7252d ago

If the SS does end up being about half the height of the SX... I can already imagine a slick borg cube themed design for it.

stuna152d ago

Either way people want to slice it, whether it's a $50 or $100 or more difference in price between the Disc based and Digital model of the PS5, the fact remains there's no difference in power, therefore no compromises due to trying to develop for the lowest common denominator. Microsoft won't be able to say that, because even in their same generation the Xbox series X will in truth be held back by the Series S version of their Consoles.

It's pretty obvious Sony one-upped Microsoft once again, because no one thought Sony would release a disc based model along side a digital model, but that both were the same power. It was ingenious if you ask me!
Microsoft thougt that they would have an advantage, but in actuality could be veiwed as a disavantage.

darthv7252d ago

@stuna, Im sorry but it doesnt work like that anymore. A series S will not hold back a series X. That is like saying someone with a core i5 and GTX950 is holding back someone with an i7 and GTX1080. That is just not the case with these machines. scalability is the key and these consoles are just as capable of that as the pc world.

NeoGamer23252d ago (Edited 52d ago )

First, we don't know if there will be two versions XSX but my guess is yes but it is not formally confirmed.

Second, we don't know pricing at all yet. Not sure if Sony will go $100 cheaper for a all digital version. It might only be $50. MS was only able to take $50 off XBO S All Digital vs XBO S and the only difference is blu-ray. Sony may be able to do better but it is still up in the air.

Third, you could get more flexibility in pricing if you were to give all the power to do everything except full 4K support like the current XBO S and XBO X do. All the same games play on XBO S, but their graphic fidelity and framerates aren't as good as XBO X.

rainslacker51d ago

If it's just a difference of GPU power, then from a design perspective, it shouldn't be held back.

If the difference goes beyond that, like say to the CPU, the memory architecture or size, or the I/O technology, then Series S will be the lowest common denominator for MS next gen, and likely any 3rd party game, as MS is likely to make it a mandate that the Series S be supported with the Series X.

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 51d ago
cbuc112552d ago

Only one problem....they dont have the best games. For that you need a Playstation.

fiveby952d ago

Yep. PS5 day 1. XsX maybe in the future.

Koolaidude51d ago

Or a Switch to go with your Xbox

SpaceRanger52d ago

Pretty sure all sources are pointing toward it just being a disk less X1X with a similar console design. Easy to manufacture and easy to continue focusing on this current gen. Especially since they’ve been lacking for quite a few months.

timotim52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

Actually thats the first time Ive heard that one. 1X is using GCN...from what Ive heard this model is rumored to be using the same architecture as the SX which will make it MUCH more compatible with next-gen games than the 1X ever could be.

@cbuc
Saw that one coming a mile away...very original btw. I'm sure XGS 15+ studios will see to it that it has games.

@Rimeskeem
Thats relative to what youre looking for. I think both SX and disc version PS5 will be plenty affordable considering how much power they have under the hood. Take a comparable PC for an example...that would run you $1500 for something similar.

Rimeskeem52d ago

I thought the whole point of a console is both power and affordability...

Atom66652d ago

Sure, value proposition is key. But that varies among consumers too. The balance you refer to worked well when consoles were launching at 299. But when you get to 500 area, you know you're leaving people behind.

Someone could see a 599 PS5 or XSX as good value for their wants and needs. Others could find that a 299 less capable machine was the better value for their needs.

The goal is to get a capable machine into gamers hands so they can then buy games, sub to PSn or XBL, and maybe sub to GP or PS Now too. If you're able to do it by getting people on different ends of the value spectrum to buy in, than it's smart business.

The real question is what does this mean for production costs and schedules, and does their API really allow the easy scaling MS has worked so long on. Other than that, it makes too much sense to go this route if they can do it right.

RazzerRedux52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

"Microsoft has both power and affordability covered."

Well, they had that "covered" with Xbox One S and Xbox One X and most people still went with PS4.

I have no doubt MS will be competitive with PS5 on price, but what it is going to be huge for them is going to be the new studios and their games. Next month's first party reveal needs to be a slam dunk for MS.

Obscure_Observer52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

"Next month's first party reveal needs to be a slam dunk for MS."

Xbox´s scenario is very is different. They don´t need to convince Xbox One S and X owners to upgrade, that´s Sony´s job with the PS5 and PS4 owners.

I think the PS5 will sell better than Xbox Series X at launch due PS4´s successful generation and the fact that you´ll need to upgrade if you want to continue to play Playstation games after PS5´s release. Whether it will have the best line up of games at launch, remains to be seen.

Dissidia52d ago

The Xbox One S and X came out in 2016-2017 respectively. 3-4 years into the generation. Don't make it seem like they were the launch consoles and people still just went with PS4.

RazzerRedux52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

"Don't make it seem like they were the launch consoles and people still just went with PS4."

lol....I didn't say or even imply that. After those consoles launched, people still went with PS4 which was exactly my point.

timotim52d ago

Youre talking after the gen started...perception was already ingrained long before then. This will be cards dealt at the start of the generation this time...vastly different scenario. However, I do agree that the event Microsoft puts on in July has to a slam dunk all around. It will be the first time we get to see next generation first party games...they have to impress.

RazzerRedux52d ago

Yeah, I definitely think the important difference is the studios. Power has proven to not be the most important aspect of consoles. That is why MS built/bought those studios to improve their portfolio of games, which was in dire straits.

rainslacker51d ago (Edited 51d ago )

" that´s Sony´s job with the PS5 and PS4 owners."

Yeah, it is Sony's job. The thing is though, MS is giving no reason to upgrade to the XSX, unless someone is just really enamored with 3rd party cross gen games playing their best. One can quite literally play these games on their current console, but then get into PS gaming and coast for two years with a next gen console and still play whatever MS has to offer.

Having a X1 owner get a PS console for 2 years isn't going to be a good thing for MS, unless MS manages to really hit home runs with whatever next gen games they will eventually have. Even then, if PS gets enough software, it mitigates the need for a 2nd console. That's why I never brought a 360 last gen...because by the time I thought I'd want one, Sony had enough to keep me occupied.

Should we continue with this sales analysis potential using more hypotheticals and anecdotes? Because when it comes to the general market, MS needs to capture new users, not just keep the one's they have....which they also need to keep. Best they can hope for is that by supporting this gen, they don't have their current users migrating over to PS while MS finishes their next gen games they should have started making years ago.

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CaptainHenry91652d ago (Edited 52d ago )

When you say the cheapest you mean the one that will do 1080p and hold back next generation games? Hmm will Xbox fans that buy the Xbox series S still be able to play Xbox series X only exclusives in 1080p or 4K?

DJStotty52d ago (Edited 52d ago )

How do you know it will be 1080p when the one x can do 4k?

I would love to be included in people's inside information, lockhart has not even been officially announced, or unofficially leaked.

CaptainHenry91652d ago (Edited 52d ago )

Fair enough. We it be able to do 60fps? because the Series X will be able to. And you know it will be announce. It's just a matter of time.

green52d ago

How will the series S hold back the series X if it has the same SSD, RDNA 2.0 architecture but simply just scaled down?

If it is, then there is nothing the X can do that the S cant do even if it half or less than half the power. In fact, it would run games that the X one X cant run because of its older HDD and GCN 2.0 architecture.

timotim52d ago

That makes no sense Captain...Lockhart is rumored to be using the same RDNA2 architecture as the SX. It wont hold anything back if the rumors are true. Lockhart is a next-gen console...1X is not.

"Fair enough. We it be able to do 60fps? because the Series X will be able to."

Damn near every game Sony showed off from first party outside of GT7 was running at 30FPS. Youre trying to bring throw shade on the Lockhart rumor, yet what does that say about PS5???

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joejoejoe52d ago

If only they had games for their gaming consoles.

52d ago
DJStotty52d ago

Assuming the lockhart actually exists

JesusBuiltmyHotrod52d ago

Yet they will finish last by a wide margin..

Davloc51d ago

Unless of course you want the most powerful digital only console, which will be the PS5AD. Do Microsoft really want to undermine there own marketing campaign?

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 50d ago
i3eyond the Circle52d ago

It really all depends on how they want to play it. There have been rumors that the Series X may release at $399 and take a monumental loss on initial costs akin to what they did with the xbox 360 (which cost them $700 to manufacture)

I really think a better move for them would be dropping the paywall for online play and using that momentum shift to get more folks on the platform to support Gamepass/Xcloud.

52d ago
waverider52d ago

Not really. they have the X. There no need of another console. They launch it two years ago. The True 4k console.

52d ago Replies(1)
Darkborn52d ago

It's going to hold all their games back if the TF that has been leaking is true. A box that's weaker than the one x for next gen. Why would they do that? It would be much smarter to just say if you have a one x, your already ready for next gen and just release games on that as well.

JCOLE1319552d ago

I’m no tech wizard but from what I’ve read, a GCN TFLOP does NOT equal an RDNA 2 TFLOP. Not to mention the CPU, RAM and SSD benefits the Lockhart would have over the One X.

DJStotty51d ago (Edited 51d ago )

If that is the case, why are people stating this console can only achieve 1080p? when the one X is capable of 4k?

All the while having benefits over the One X?

rainslacker51d ago

A flop is a flop. What's important is what kind of data can be processed with that flop, and how that data can be used to perform a process or function. RDNA can do more with the same data overall(but not everywhere) so, the ratings aren't equivalent to current architectures. However, it's not so massive a difference that the consumer needs to really read that much into it. The differences in architecture is going to be more a problem on the design level, as they use different rendering routines, and workflows, and RDNA has different processes available which are either non-existent or require rather inefficient higher level code to run on GCN.

vikingland152d ago (Edited 52d ago )

Shaggy2303 explains it correctly. RDNA is way better than GCN. The One X has more TF but it's not as good due to the difference in GCN and RDNA.
Edit: Also the SSD is better in the Lockhart compared to the One X.

DJStotty52d ago

That is why i do not believe the specs darkborn.

Why would they release a console that is weaker than last gen's console lol.

shiva152d ago

You need to start over your college. This time pay attention.

DJStotty51d ago (Edited 51d ago )

@Shiva

"You need to start over your college" this makes no sense.

People are stating that this console can only do 1080p. (According to supposed leaks) Hence why i said "Why would they release a console that is weaker than last gen's console" 1080p is weaker than the xbox one x.

The rumoured specs are that the CPU will be around 4ghz+, hence why i said "That is why i do not believe the specs"

I hope that helps you understand my comments, and please feel free to explain where i have gone wrong and back up with sources.

rainslacker51d ago

The Flop rating is just a measure of the potential of the GPU. The higher the number, the more consistent it will achieve higher flops. The flop rating actually doesn't factor in the actual system design, which can indeed hinder the potential, but could help it achieve it's potential if done right.

So, while what I"m about to say isn't the case, but to make my point, even if the XSX was 12TF and PS5 was only 10, if the PS5 was designed around hitting that 10TF consistently, whereas XSX design made it so the system only hit it maybe 30% of the time, then effectively, the two consoles would be relatively equal in terms of actual real world processing power....with more consistent performance for the PS5 in this case.

Again, that's not the actual real world scenario here, so take the above as a technical example and not a declaration of PS5's capabilities.

DJStotty51d ago

@Rainslacker

I am referring to the rumoured Series S/Lockhart specs, PS5 has nothing to do with my comments.

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52d ago Replies(3)