Microsoft is "taking the natural step of stopping production on Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition," It's a move that will help the gaming giant to focus resources into its upcoming successor the Xbox Series X and Project xCloud service. The news was delivered to The Verge by an Xbox spokesperson.

However, “Xbox One S will continue to be manufactured and sold globally,” according to the spokesperson. "Gamers can check with their local retailers for more details on Xbox One hardware availability."

The 'X' at the end

The Xbox One X was an incrementally upgraded version of the regular Xbox One, initially teased by Microsoft at E3 2016 under the codename "Project Scorpio." It was later revealed at E3 2017, then launched in April 2017.

The launch came a year after the Xbox One S, a smaller form factor version of the regular console. The All-Digital version of the Xbox One S which omitted the Blu-Ray disc drive from the design would only see release in May 2019.

The Xbox Series X was announced during E3 2019 and is scheduled for release during the Holidays later this year. In comparison, the Xbox Series X has a graphical performance output of 12 teraflops while its predecessor is only half of that. Microsoft's next-gen console will be going head to head with Sony's PlayStation 5, launching around the same time.

Xbox One X still relevant

The move to discontinue the Xbox One X feels too premature, especially for Microsoft. The console's life cycle hasn't truly peaked yet.

Not to mention, the Xbox Series X's forward compatibility of cross-gen games complete with upgradability via patching has been confirmed. Yet Microsoft is hard-pressed on believing it still has a future among its devices.

One possible factor is the Xbox Series S codenamed "Lockhart," the smaller, cheaper version to the next-gen console that has yet to be officially announced.

Reports on 'Lochart' suggest this console's graphical performance sits at four teraflops. Although that is lower than even the Xbox One X, the thing to remember is that the architecture is undoubtedly ahead of its predecessor and is most likely more efficient with graphical performance.

The pandemic to blame

Another possible factor is the current pandemic sweeping America.

There have been reports of unit shortages for weeks leading up to the grave announcement. The coronavirus outbreak has impacted several industries especially the gaming industry, causing delays of both hardware and software releases. In similar news, the Atari VCS was pushed from its March release due to the pandemic impacting the production of the latest dev kits in China.