Home Gaming Rumour: Microsoft is working on digital-only Xbox One console

Rumour: Microsoft is working on digital-only Xbox One console

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Hate it or really hate it, but there’s no denying that the future of gaming is going to be purely digital. Heck, I don’t even need to a crystal ball to see how games will be delivered in the future: Digital download streams, with an episodic format as developers release as much of a game as they want to, when they want to and then patch said title to run the way that they envision it to.

Still, somebody needs to take that first step to an all-digital future, and it looks like Microsoft is stepping up to the plate. According to a new report from analyst website Thurrott, Team green is currently working on an Xbox One that will ship without a disc drive, which will lower the cost of the console and put it in the $200 price range. Thurott reckons that the device will be out in 2019, with a “disc to digital” program at participating retailers that will give players digital download codes in exchange for their games.

It’s not a bad idea at all. While I doubt that consoles with disc drives will be phased out entirely within the next few years, having more options is a smarter marketing move on Microsoft’s part. PlayStation’s sales lead over the Xbox One has been monumental to say the least, thanks to the original Xbox One launching at a higher price point at the time and a bundled Kinect sensor that the majority of gamers did not take kindly to.

xbox one x

Everything that Microsoft has been doing so far with the Xbox One brand has been stepping forward to create a new ecosystem of hardware and software, with numerous video game studio acquisitions along the way. An Xbox One console without a disc drive, just feels like a natural progression to a console family that already includes the all-you-can-play buffet service of Xbox Game Pass, making this particular device a perfect entry point into a market that is aimed at fans who want to jump into gaming but without having to throw down too much cash.

Last Updated: November 19, 2018


  1. I can dig this as an extra option, as I know people who are disc-less in any case. Those people also mostly have high data caps or uncapped. But I use mine as a Blu Ray player as well as for the gaming.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 19, 2018 at 07:57

    Just add sports.


  3. Pariah

    November 19, 2018 at 08:16

    I can’t remember the last time I used my disc drive. Even retail games are releasing with just keys these days, so really this makes so much sense.


    • Geoffrey Tim

      November 19, 2018 at 08:58

      removing it from the standard One/S is a good idea as a lower cost option. It’s be dumb to remove it from the X1X, as it’s the only UHD Blu-Ray player


      • Pariah

        November 19, 2018 at 09:15

        I think that depends on how many users actually use the player. If many X1X users don’t use it, why not have the option there? Having the power of the X1X, without the drive that pure gamers don’t use if they’re all digital seems like a win win. Get all the power at a lower cost point. I think it’d be stupid to not have the current one as well, but they’re not replacing it from what I gather, they’re just working on another option.

        I personally would never use the drive as all my video entertainment comes from the internet. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.


      • GooseZA

        November 19, 2018 at 09:47

        The last time I used the disc drive on a console was on my xbox 360. I stream everything and I’m not a videophile (is that the right word?) so UHD for watching movies doesn’t mean much to me. I would definitely like an X for gaming though.


  4. Pieter Kruger

    November 19, 2018 at 08:23

    More options are always good, and although I also aven’t bought a physical game in years I’m not sure if I can let go of disc drives in its entirety just yet. Stand alone UHD BluRay players are also more expensive…..


  5. Gavin Mannion

    November 19, 2018 at 09:14

    How can removing the drive save so much money though? Is there a massive licensing cost that I’m not aware off?


    • Pariah

      November 19, 2018 at 09:16

      It’s a UHD BluRay drive. It’s not cheap hardware.


  6. Original Heretic

    November 19, 2018 at 09:42

    Hasn’t this been a rumour for a while?


  7. Steffmeister

    November 19, 2018 at 12:31

    Not a bad idea (if its optional), but I like buying pre played games and trading the ones I know I won’t play again.


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