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Xbox Series X Rumors That Turned Out To Be False

Every new console generation opens with a question: What can gamers expect from the future? This simple postulation invites a slew of answers, not all of which are sound. Be it a lack of information, wishful thinking, or an unintentional game of telephone, some of the more unreasonable answers can be mistaken for solid facts and spawn console rumors.

The PlayStation 5 spawned numerous rumors, many of which were proven false. The same applies to the Xbox Series X. After all, the two consoles were neck and neck for garnering gamer attention, and one of the best ways to keep audiences a talkin' is to keep that hypothesis train a runnin'. Eventually, though, all rumors must either be confirmed or squashed, and in the case of the Series X, many fizzled out of existence when the console was released, for better and for worse.

Here are but a few of the crazier Xbox Series X rumors that didn't come to fruition.

The Series X was going to be an only child

Well before the Xbox Series X was known as the Series X, it went by the codename "Project Scarlett." Virtually everyone knew it would receive an official name later, and while the world waited for more information, another name crossed lips: Lockhart. Rumored to be a second, more budget-friendly console, the idea piqued interests since many (accurately) predicted the Scarlett/Series X would cost an arm and a leg. And for a time, that's exactly what some gamers assumed the Lockhart would be. A rumor, not a physical console.

In mid-2019, word spread around the internet that Microsoft axed the plan to ring in the next console generation with two new systems. This rumor started because Microsoft had reportedly undergone a Lockhart purge. All mention of the console had been scrubbed. Another prominent theory asserted that Microsoft just wanted to distance itself from the Lockhart and instead focus on xCloud streaming as a budget Series X alternative.

On Sept. 9, 2020, Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series S. It was smaller and cheaper than the Series X, just as prophesied.

No Xbox Series X until 2021

2020 has been the year of delays. Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, game releases were held back left, right, and center. Fortnite Season 3? Delayed. Ghost of Tsushima? Delayed. The Xbox Series X? Almost delayed, but because basically everything else video game-related was being delayed, many people were certain it would be, too.

In March 2020, right about when the pandemic started, analysts at DFC Intelligence and Niko Partners concluded that COVID-19 would make it difficult, if not impossible, for Microsoft and Sony to muster enough manufacturing teams to hit their holiday launch windows. And, even if they did, supply would be so low that companies would have to inflate prices to recoup production costs. In order to avoid charging gamers exorbitant amounts of cash for a console, it was theorized that the Xbox Series X (and PlayStation 5) would have to be delayed, likely to 2021.

Microsoft managed to prove these predictions wrong by releasing as expected on Nov. 10, 2020. Stocks were lower than anticipated, but that was less due to manufacturing woes and more to problems with scalpers buying consoles en masse.

The PS5 has more teraflops than the Xbox Series X

The biggest weapon in any console war is pure graphical power. Higher graphical fidelity and framerate performance will usually tip the scales in favor of one console. Microsoft and Sony are deadlocked in a battle to see which console can cram more polygons and particle effects into their products. Audiences once assumed the PlayStation 5 would win the current-gen's round.

Long before the public heard any solid console capability numbers, studios received dev kits to get a feel for the hardware and get a head start on next-gen game development. Many such teams were in contact with entrenched game journalists, including Game Informer's Andrew Reiner and ex-IGN editor Colin Moriarty. According to Reiner and Moriarty's sources, the PS5 would be more powerful than the Xbox Series X. Details were sparse, but the gist from the developer landscape was that the PS5 would provide prettier games.

These stories gave the rumor a lot of clout, far more than had the claim originating from a ResetEra rando whose source was an uncle's cousin's next door neighbor. However, it was later revealed that the Series X outperformed the PS5 by almost two teraflops.