Back in November, we reported Microsoft is preparing an Xbox One S that will come without a disc drive. This full push towards digital gaming will site alongside the disc-supporting console. It now seems Microsoft is readying to launch that console, possibly at E3 2019 in June.
Windows Central reports the console will be called the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and will be cheaper than the normal version. In a report into the console, WC discusses the convenience of all-digital and how the console will capture where gaming is headed.
Microsoft has reacted quickly to the changing trends and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition puts the company ahead of rivals in digital gaming.
In fact, the landscape has already changed enough that gaming through a disc is more of a chore than a convenience. Games still must be installed and patches downloaded down the line, the ease of just inserting a disc and insta-gaming has gone.
Many gamers have already gone all digital, where they download a title from an online store and play it without ever seeing a disc. This means games are available on demand. We all know the frustration of having to change discs (or cartridges in the old days) whenever we wanted to play a new game.
The Xbox One S All-Digital also seamlessly fits into what Microsoft is doing in other areas. Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service that allows users to play hundreds of games for a monthly price of $9.99. Microsoft describes the service as Netflix for gamers.
Elsewhere, Project xCloud is a cloud-based game streaming service Microsoft is currently developing. With this service, Microsoft will store all game performance and data in the cloud, allowing gamers to play without system or hardware limitations. This means gamers will be able to access Xbox games across platforms and on any device, even mobile.
Discs Are Alive
All this is not to say Microsoft is turning its back on discs. The company will still sell Xbox One consoles with a disc driver, including the flagship Xbox One X. Many gamers still want physical discs, whether for the sake of nostalgia or practicality.
It is also worth noting some users don't want to be tied digitally to a company. With concerns over privacy and data, some users are not handing over their digital lives to providers and want to stay away from an always-connected scenario.