This is not Microsoft’s next-generation game console but rather a cheaper Xbox One console without a disc drive, according to a report by Thurrott. Microsoft is reportedly also planning a ‘disc-to-digital’ program.
Disc-less game consoles?
10 years ago, the notion of a disc-less game console would have seemed far-fetched. It may still be too early for many gamers, depending on the internet infrastructure in the particular region.
Nevertheless, Microsoft is reportedly planning to remove the disc drive in a new version of Xbox One, according to people familiar with the plans. The current Xbox One S costs around $299 and the upcoming disc-less console may cost less than $200, according to the report.
In addition, Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a ‘disc-to-digital’ program to allow customers to trade in physical copies of games for a digital code that can be redeemed from the Xbox One online store. Physical discs can be taken to participating retailers.
Microsoft has already confirmed that is working on a game streaming service and that public trials will begin next year. It is unclear if plans for the new disc-less console and the streaming service are linked. However, Microsoft has emphasized that its streaming service will work with other non-Xbox devices, too.
The report claims that the disc-less and unnamed Xbox One will launch in 2019 – perhaps as early as spring 2019. This is just a rumor but even if it never sees the light of day it appears that Microsoft is seriously considering moving on from physical discs, which also means goodbye to the built-in UHD Blu-ray capabilities.