Microsoft has plans to launch an Xbox One S that lacks a disc drive, according to unnamed sources in a rumor posted by Thurrott.com.
Under the plan, the console will run less than $200, Thurrott says, and Microsoft Stores will support a program whereby users can take in physical gaming media and trade it for a digital download to their Xbox Live account.
“Microsoft is moving forward very carefully with this product as it knows that a sizeable portion of its users do prefer to buy physical games and not download them,” the website says.
There are many reasons to be skeptical about this rumor. Not one of which is how many Xbox do we need on the market? Currently, there are two consoles on the market. The Xbox One S, which is the basic model for $300. Then, you have the higher price version which is the Xbox One X.
Much like Sony, who has two versions of their console, why would Microsoft make a new version of their existing console? Disc-less consoles have been rumored prior to the arrival of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. This was a concept built on the idea that everything was going to move digitally in one giant move.
Unfortunately, much like other digital media, going completely digital is not something that will happen quickly. There is still an argument to be made about who technically owns digital media. Since there is not a physical form of it, do you truly own it?
The only logical assumption would be dropping the Xbox One S completely and supplementing it with the newer model. Another issue would be disc size. Does anyone remember the atrocious 360 Arcade model? Was that worth the hassle? I would say this is 50/50 at best.