Xbox Lockhart rumors intensify as references to console are found in Windows 10 code

Xbox Project Scarlett
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Project Lockhart is referred to in some Windows 10 code libraries, it has emerged, pouring more fuel onto the fire of the rumor that Microsoft has a second digital-only next-gen console in the works.

The theory is that this second Project Lockhart console would sit under the top-end Xbox Series X as a more affordable alternative (Xbox Series S?) for those happy to have a lesser spec machine, but it’s still unclear as to whether this is Microsoft’s plan, or indeed what Lockhart might actually be.

What we know now is that it’s something to do with the Xbox, given that references to ‘Xbox-Lockhart’ have been discovered by a security researcher and posted on Twitter.

TitleOS found the references – with there being five in total – in System32 library files for Windows, and they were present alongside mentions of ‘Xbox-Anaconda’ which is the codename for the Xbox Series X, as IGN (which spotted the tweet) reports.

Of course, this hardly proves that Microsoft has a lower-priced spin on its next-gen Xbox in the pipeline, but it is at least another indication that such a project might really exist.

Sooner – or later?

As we’ve heard before from Windows Central, the disc-less console is apparently already in the home testing phase, meaning those who work on the Xbox team are playing around with it outside of the office. Again though, we have to be somewhat careful around these rumors, and even if Lockhart is coming, we still don’t know if the time frame might be later, rather than sooner.

After all, Microsoft released the Xbox One S some three years after the original Xbox One emerged, and while it’s unlikely that there would be such a gap this time around, the point is that both next-gen consoles might not launch that close to each other. As we’ve speculated in the past, there could be a year or so gap between them (assuming that Lockhart comes to pass at all, of course).

Previously the rumor mongers were hoping to hear something about Project Lockhart in May, but that didn’t happen – however, presumably if the alternative console is in the picture for the near future, we’ll hear something official about it soon enough. Until then, all we can do is wait, and keep our budget-conscious fingers crossed.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).