With the new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, Microsoft ditches the disc drive in favor of an all-digital game console. It will be available on May 7 for $249.
All-digital Xbox One
The first three Xbox One consoles have had either a Blu-ray or UHD Blu-ray drive built-in but ahead of the next console generation, Microsoft has decided to launch a disc-free console - perhaps a sign of what is to come.
Instead of buying a game on disc you will have to buy it exclusively from Microsoft's online store. The company argues that "your games, saves and backups are safe in the cloud" in a digital library that "travels with you". The company also highlights the ability to pre-install new games so you can "play the moment they launch".
- "Go all digital with the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and build a library of digital games that travels with you and is available in the cloud. Take your cloud saves on the go, and enjoy the ability to preorder and pre-install upcoming games so you’re ready to play the moment they launch. Expand your options with Xbox Game Pass, discovering and downloading over 100 great games," Microsoft said.
As Microsoft jokingly notes, it has never been done before - except for movies, music, books, and other types of digital media. Jokes aside, there is a grander vision behind the new push. The console includes a 1TB hard drive for game installs but Microsoft is also working on a streaming service for games. The company had nothing new to share regarding those efforts at this time but many assume that the upcoming service will work on Xbox One, too.
The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition looks just like the regular white Xbox One S except for the fact that there is no opening for discs. It appears to have identical hardware, too, with support for 4K resolution (only video), HDR (High Dynamic Range), and spatial audio (Dolby Atmos and DTS:X).
Together with the new console, Microsoft also announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate that combines Xbox Game Pass with Xbox Live Gold, allowing you to access (download) 100 multiplayer-enabled games for $15 per month.
The disc-less Xbox One S will be available on May 7 for $249, which is $50 less than the recommended retail price of $299 for the regular Xbox One S but still more expensive than actual selling prices. It comes bundled with Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. More information can be found on xbox.com.