Companies like Sony (PlayStation) and Microsoft (Xbox) have long considered building a disc-less gaming console. The PlayStation 4 was originally being built as a disc-less console, but this was not implemented due to several reasons. PlayStation concluded that most developing countries did not have a reliable enough internet connection to support the huge amount of data required for a full game download. Hence, they ditched the idea of a disc-less console as a whole. Microsoft, on the other hand, has also considered releasing a disc-less console in the past. However, they were also reluctant due to similar reasons. However, recent reports suggest that Microsoft’s point of view on disc-less consoles may have changed.
In November of last year, there were several reports that suggested that Microsoft may be producing an All-Digital Xbox. Today, Windows Central has stated that the console could be released as early as next month, with pre-orders beginning in mid-April.
The console in question is code-named “Maverick” and it is rumored that the console will be called the Xbox One S “All-Digital Edition“. The console will not feature a disc drive. Hence, it will be interesting to see how much the disc drive’s absence will impact the size of the console. Moreover, the console will also feature a “disc-to-digital” program, this will enable fans to turn in physical game discs and convert them to digital downloads. This program will serve as an incentive to upgrade to the new console. There have also been rumors that Microsoft will ship the console with owner-picked games pre-installed.
The price of the new Xbox will be greatly affected by the removal of the expensive Blu-ray drive. We can not give an exact figure at the moment but it will without a doubt cost less than the Xbox One S which starts at $299.
Xbox is really making a push into internet gaming lately. They have been working on their new game streaming service called xCloud. Now they are making a push into the disc-less console market, could all these signs potentially signal at an all-digital gaming future?
Rumors also suggest that Microsoft will be announcing a Fortnite-edition console which will feature a custom Fortnite design. This will be different from their usual normal game bundle. It is unknown whether the Fortnite console will be a regular S, X, or the disc-less version at this moment.