Microsoft is reportedly launching a disc-less Xbox One this spring
March 05, 20192 min read
Toward the end of the Xbox One's life cycle, Microsoft is finally circling back to one of the original credos for the console. If recent rumors are true, a new Xbox One model will make good on the all-digital vision.
According to a report from Windows Central, Microsoft is manufacturing a version of the Xbox One S that doesn't contain a disc drive. This isn't an underpowered console, though. All the other capabilities, like Ultra HD and HDR support, are seemingly present.
However, the omission of a disc drive should allow Microsoft to slash the price of this new model, effectively making it the de facto entry level Xbox. As digital distribution becomes increasingly prevalent, this is an option that makes sense for a certain demographic. And, Xbox Game Pass -- the single best service Xbox offers, hands down -- hinges its entire model on users downloading the games they're essentially renting.
It feels like this is finally the appropriate time for something like this to come to market. Digital-only is viable for plenty of people. We see proof on a quarterly basis, as publishers routinely report to investors that digital earnings keep climbing. This is entirely anecdotal, but while writing this, I realized I haven't used a disc in my Xbox One for three years now -- when the first Division launched. (However, given the nature of my job, it's important to note that my experience in acquiring games isn't indicative of the average consumer's.)
This revelation, if true, will clear up some of the codename confusion that has been circulating. Windows Central says this model is the one that's currently called "Xbox Maverick," and it'll be dubbed the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition -- a designation that's functionally-proficient and extremely not-sexy.
We won't have to wait long to see if this rumor pans out. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will supposedly be in stores in the beginning of May, with a near-simultaneous launch in almost all of Xbox's current markets. Pre-orders will open in mid-April. The start of the disc-less future might be just around the corner.