Think hard for a few moments. When’s the last time you actually used the disc drive on your personal computer? You probably can’t remember, can you? And on your PS4 or your Xbox One, when’s the last time you actually plugged a disc into the drive to install the latest game du jour?
Let’s face it, we’re living in a digital age. The era where gamers had to go to the store to pick up the latest and greatest blockbuster release is coming to a close, with more and more gamers opting to just download the latest releases as soon as they go on sale. Some even pre-download the game so they won’t have to deal with overloaded servers on release day.
And now there’s an Xbox One being made that reportedly has no optical drive. It’s all digital, baby.
According to tech website Thurrott, Microsoft is hard at work making a new generation of Xbox console, codenamed Scarlett. But in the meantime, they’re also hard at work making new versions of the current generation of Xbox One, and they’re focusing on making versions that are cheaper than the current $299 Xbox One S.
The first is a completely disc-less Xbox One that forgoes its optical drive in the name of both weight and cost savings. Those cost savings could be huge: as much as $100 off the sticker price of a new Xbox One S. Maybe even more.
However, Microsoft is aware that many in their audience still prefer to buy their games in a store and install them when they get home. Nevermind the fact this is both costly in terms of time and fuel spent going to the store, and also often irrelevant when the game still requires massive day-one patches anyway.
That’s why Microsoft is also making a slimmer version called the Xbox One S SKU. This will still have a disc drive for all the Luddites that still prefer buying discs in stores, but it’ll still be both cheaper and smaller than the current Xbox One S.
Microsoft insiders have pegged a tentative release for the disc-less Xbox for Spring of 2019, while the Xbox One S SKU will arrive a few months later. The next generation of Xbox Box isn’t set to arrive until sometime in 2020, so if you’re thinking about upgrading, now’s the time.