One of the worst kept secrets in the gaming industry was Microsoft’s desire to make a disc-less version of the Xbox One. It seems like a fool’s errand, but remember this is the same company that released an Arcade version of the Xbox 360. That was an utter disaster. It is, also, important to know that there are currently two other versions of the Xbox One. The high-price Xbox One X and their $300 version called the Xbox One S. Their latest one is the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Yeah, not a great name, I know. But, it is official.
As far as late in 2018, rumors about the console was making its way online. Then, again in March with a date in May for release. It appeared that Microsoft was looking to do away with physical media and purchase games online. However, digital versions of games are not any cheaper than physical media, which is we’ve always looked at as kinda a “fuck you” to gamers. On the same day that Sony announced their specs for the PlayStation 5, Microsoft brings up the rear with their other version of a console that is already out.
In an interview with Ars Technica, Microsoft’s Platform and Devices GM Jeff Gattis confirmed an MSRP of $249, which includes the discless console (currently only in “bone white”), one matching Xbox One controller, an internal 1TB hard drive, and three bundled game-download codes: Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. This model will launch “in most Xbox One markets” on May 7, Microsoft says, and all existing Xbox One accessories will be compatible with the All-Digital Edition, owing to its identical motherboard.
Gattis explained that this price point will “pass the value of removing the disc drive onto the customer.” When asked how he reckons that with the fact that, as of press time, most retailer’s list existing Xbox One S bundles (complete with at least one pack-in game) at a $249 price point, “I’m painfully aware of it.” However, he suggesting that “right now, if you walk into retailers like Best Buy, [the existing Xbox One S] is a $299 product.” As of this writing, however, both Best Buy and the Microsoft Store list compelling Xbox One S 1TB bundles for $249.
Major Nelson confirms that owners will get a 3-month Xbox Game Pass offer for $1, which is similar to the offering to all Xbox customers that don’t have the service. Obviously, they are trying to hit the lower end market, like they tried with the old Xbox 360 Arcade. The forward shift will mean that most likely the original Xbox One S will go back to its $299 price and stay there. If it doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of sense.
In the end, it’s a $50 difference to either have a Xbox One S All-Digital Edition or one that can play 4K discs. Obviously, this is geared more to people that purchase a majority of their games digitally. However, it will not come bundled with either Game Pass or Xbox Live. On a personal note, I seldom use the disc drive for anything other than playing games I rent from Gamefly. This will put renters out of the market or people that like a physical disc drive. Still, for $50 more, you can get 4K movies and play them on your Xbox One.
Although, when you think about the amount of games Microsoft offers every month, in conjunction with the deals on their Xbox Store, it makes sense that we will soon move to digital media. Like Adam, he has many kids that destroy the disc, so digital makes a better option. However, removing the disc drive warrants a $50 discount isn’t much of an incentive to trade-in for an Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Our opinion, keep what you got. If you are thinking of getting one, spend the $50 extra bucks. It’s a cheap 4K movie player.