Towards the end of last year rumours began to circulate regarding Microsoft and a discless Xbox One console. Now those rumours have returned with a little more substance.
As reported by Windows Central, a press site that is known for having sources close to Microsoft, the new discless Xbox One S will be known as the All-Digital Edition. No hardware specifics have been leaked, if they exist, as of yet, but it’s suggested that without the disc drive the cost of the console could be between $100-$200.
In November 2018 it was tech website Thurrott that leaked information regarding the discless Xbox One S, known then under the codename Maverick. At the time it was thought that the console would release in early 2019, with it most-likely having a Spring release window.
The new information we have now seems to back up the claims of a Spring release window. Apparently the discless Xbox One will see a simultaneous global launch in May 2019, with pre-orders opening in April.
Microsoft may have the most powerful console on the market under their belt, but with an initial price of around $500 it’s not been easy to convince consumers to invest in one. Over the last year or so the company has taken steps to improve their first-party offering for 2019 onwards by acquiring new studios, and has created an entirely new ecosystem with the Xbox Game Pass.
A discless Xbox One console would be the next logical step for Microsoft in the current console generation. At this point consumers are eager for a glimpse of the next generation of home consoles, but platform holders generally release a slimmer, stripped down version of their current generation consoles to give themselves more time to develop the next one.
With the Xbox Game Pass looking like a far more attractive option for gamers, particularly since first-party titles launch on the subscription service on the day of release, having a console that doesn’t rely on discs makes sense.
Games in general are shifting to an ever-updating format that developers push patches and new content for over time. A disc won’t have the new content a game has received a year after release, but a digital version will be up to date whenever it’s purchased.
Retailers may not be too keen on the idea of a discless Xbox One, should it turn out to be real. The Xbox Game Pass has already been a big blow to the retail games sector, a shift towards digital-only consoles could be the end of it.