Microsoft Officially Unveils The All Digital Xbox One S

The discless console will sell for lower than the original Xbox One S, while still retaining its original hardware, minus the Blu-ray player.
Microsoft formally unveils the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.
Microsoft formally unveils the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Microsoft

As expected, Microsoft has formally announced its newest console after weeks of leaks.

During its Inside Xbox presentation yesterday, Microsoft finally confirmed the existence of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. The console is part of Microsoft’s push to make digital games a much more prevalent part of the gaming landscape, featuring a somewhat cheaper console that will not rely on physical media, but rather on digital downloads.

This announcement formally came with a trailer, which highlights the capabilities of the machine.

The console is priced at $249, which is $50 cheaper than the regular Xbox One S, and the only difference between the two is that the all-digital version will not ship with the Blu-ray drive normally found in Xbox consoles. The base unit ships with a 1TB HDD, which is what you’ll primarily be using for the games, and three games: Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Minecraft.

“We think of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition as an option that caters to audiences who prefer to find and play their games digitally,” said Jeff Gattis, general manager of platform and devices marketing, in a press release that was sent to GamesBeat. “We’re not looking to push customers toward digital; it’s about meeting the needs of customers that are digital natives that prefer digital-based media and providing value with the most affordable Xbox One console.”

The idea of a fully digital Xbox console started with rumors a year ago, with Microsoft feeding into those rumors with its realized digital ecosystems, such as Game Pass and the Project xCloud, a game-streaming service set to be released in beta stage sometime this year. In terms of competition, Microsoft is looking at a direct toe-to-toe with Google’s upcoming Stadia, also a game streaming service, but one that promises to deliver 4K 60 frames per second performance across all compatible devices. Stadia is also set to be released this year.

The discless Xbox is expected to be the vessel for which Microsoft realizes their future game streaming and current game subscription services. I mean, how else are you supposed to play games on it? The Inside Xbox presentation also introduced the Game Pass Ultimate, which combines Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass together for convenience. It will be interesting to see how the digital marketplace plays out, especially with the first ever all-digital console now available on the market.

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is expected to hit retailers this May 7, with pre-orders now available.

Join the Discussion
Top Stories