Microsoft is developing a version of the Xbox One without a disc drive according to a new report. Thurrott, who did the reporting, also says that the console’s price could go as low as $200. Microsoft currently has its release scheduled for 2019.
Thurrott also provides the first details on a supposed ‘disc-to-digital’ program where users can exchange their physical discs for digital codes at various retailers.
The Xbox One S is also a target for cost reduction but that version will reportedly keep the disc drive.
We’re about two years away from the next console generation with rumors that both Sony and Microsoft are working on another iteration of their respective consoles. This new SKU is not part of Microsoft’s next generation codenamed Scarlett according to Thurrott.
There are multiple Xbox One versions currently available. The mid-generation Xbox One X with improved graphical fidelity runs $500 and is currently the most expensive option. Various Xbox One S bundles are the cheapest at the moment, but they’ll still cost you a good $300.
Some have long demanded digital only consoles but companies have been hesitant to buy in with so many factors at play. Some internet service providers have limits on how much data you can consume in any given month. Exceeding that cap can incur fees and throttling. Given the rapid increase in game size in the last decade and the increasingly popular day one patches which now reach upwards of 50 GB, it’s certainly a concern for many.
At the very least it’s good to give consumers options. Removing the disc drive is a great way to get costs down for those who rarely purchase physical media. The question continues to be how much console developers will buy into that.