Microsoft drops the disc drive with Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
Microsoft's worst-kept secret has finally been made official: a disc-less Xbox One S console will be released next month. The company calls it the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, and it will come with three major games pre-installed.
The All-Digital version is the same machine as the regular Xbox One S, sans Blu-Ray drive. To store downloaded games there's a 1 TB hard drive, which comes pre-loaded with Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3. As an added bonus, the console includes a "special offer" on the Netflix-like Xbox Game Pass service – although, strangely enough, Microsoft doesn't specify what that offer entails. Most likely it's a free subscription for a certain amount of time, but who knows for how long.
The advantage of dropping discs is that the All-Digital Edition will cost US$50 less than the vanilla Xbox One S. Microsoft makes a point of saying that this price gap will stay at least this wide going forward.
The news is hardly surprising – even ignoring the rumors of the disc-less console that have been leaking all over the internet for months. Microsoft has been steadily marching towards an all-digital future for years, which was hinted at even at the initial reveal of the Xbox One way back in 2013. More recently, the company announced Project xCloud, which would stream Xbox One games to TVs, PCs and even smartphones.
The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is due to launch on May 7, for US$249.99. A tongue-in-cheek look at the development of the console can be seen in the video below.