The first Xbox without a disc drive has landed. Microsoft believes that console games should "travel with you" but will it lead to higher game prices?
Xbox One S All-Digital
Sony has ignored the latest disc standard, UHD Blu-ray, in its PlayStation 4 and Microsoft is now launching the first disc-less Xbox game console called Xbox One S All-Digital.
The new disc-less Xbox was unveiled in April and is based on the Xbox One S design. The console looks almost identical besides the fact that there is no opening for discs. It is a lazy solution from Microsoft as removal of a disc drive frees up a lot of space inside the cabinet but it helps to convey a message ahead of the next major generation of game consoles that are expected to launch in late 2020.
Whether Microsoft is prepared to resort to even more drastic measures and exclude the disc drive from all future Xbox consoles, remains to be seen, but Xbox One S All-Digital will most likely help the company assess the demand situation. Are consumers ready to ditch physical game discs?
With the launch of the new console, Microsoft is also effectively cutting out the middle man. Games are sold exclusively through Microsoft's online store on Xbox, which may affect price competition and lead to higher game prices. Of course, digital games will help reduce distribution costs but at this point there is nothing to suggest that those savings will be passed on to consumers.
Like Xbox One S, the new console supports video streaming in up to 4K HDR and gaming in up to 1080p HDR. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for gaming. To enjoy your games in 4K resolution you will have invest in Xbox One X.
The new disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital is available now for $249 / 230, including 3 games. As such, the price is higher than the retail price of the Xbox One S 1TB with disc drive (and 1 game).
Xbox One - prices & dealers
Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
1080p HDR gaming 4K HDR streaming
Xbox One S
1080p HDR gaming 4K HDR streaming UHD Blu-ray drive