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Cuphead might get a physical release next week — sort of (Updated)

Cuphead first hit Xbox One and Windows 10 as a digital-only title in late September. There's been no word of a potential physical release since, but it looks like one may be in order — sort of.

A member of the Cheap Ass Gamer forums going by the handle Tyrok (via Reddit) has posted an image of a physical Xbox One retail box for Cuphead, stating that it will release alongside the launch of the Xbox One X on November 7. The only catch is that the box doesn't contain a physical disc. Instead, it will include a digital code to redeem the game, along with one of five animation cells.

Cuphead might get a physical release next week — sort of

In a follow-up post, Tyrok went on to state that the physical release will be a Best Buy exclusive. Currently, there's no word on pricing, but we wouldn't expect it to venture from Cuphead's $19.99 digital cost.

The lack of a physical disc will likely come as a disappointment to some, but it's likely a move intended to cut costs for StudioMDHR, the indie studio behind the game. Still, the inclusion of an art cell should smooth things over some.

Cuphead is a notable entry in the slew of solid games that 2017 has produced thus far. That's largely due to its unique look, which mimics the whacky look of 1930s-era cartoons with hand-drawn art. The "Run 'n Gun" gameplay is also a highlight, offering up directional shooting similar to the Contra series.

If you want to give Cuphead a shot, you can pick it up digitally now from Microsoft for $19.99. The game is an Xbox Play Anywhere title to boot, so you'll snag it on both Xbox One and Windows 10 with one purchase.

Updated November 3, 2017: Cuphead developer StudioMDHR has now commented on the release, stating that it's just a special promotion. An actual physical edition, disc and all, is still planned for a future release.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

12 Comments
  • Interesting cost saving concept.
  • Own it on steam and don't have a Xbox, but I want that art and the box too.🤤
  • I would buy this solely for the animation slide.
  • Lame means of still locking people into digital. Hopefully the PUBG physical release isn't like this as well. Wish they'd just acknowledge they make more off digital and make the prices competitive to reflect the higher margins nd lost reutrns for consumers (plus the noticeably worse sale prices on the Xbox Store).
  • Not sure how this is any different to The Orange Box which still had to download the games via Steam anyway.
  • The Orange Box actually was a disc on 360 as well.
  • I just got the entire Dead Rising collection for less than the cost of a single new AAA title... Those sale prices truly are terrible. /s
  • How old is that series, and what was the price? Using years-old stuff as a measuring stick for overall sales quality is imbecilic. I have SuperhotVR on my Steam wish list. It was just $18 and change on Steam, while it was $25 on the Windows Store. Shadow of War is scheduled to be on-sale for $50 at Target next week, let's see what it runs on the Xbox Store...same for Forza 7. When we have the Steam and Xbox/Windows Holiday sales, let's watch how prices compare and report back in, OK?
  • So I'm guessing you don't play games on PC then.
  • Much different, as Steam has competition from DRM-free services, among others, and isn't its own publisher (since Valve's rarely releasing games these days, at least). Steam has sales that put loads of content on-sale for prices that most certainly comepte with physical and console. Microsoft, on the other hand, has greater profits on digital than physical, yet it's not hard to find physical games on-sale for less than digital, whether it be during day-to-day shopping or duriing a supposedly good sales event like what we'll see in the winter. Big difference between Microsoft's decision to do this with a game it publishes and what the entire PC industry does collectively. And, again, better pricing on PC. It's not so much that I think they shouldn't sell it at retail, but putting it in a traditional physical package can mislead some customers. The front of the box should make it abundantly clear you aren't getting a disc in there.
  • I think i might pick this sku up. I'm down for an art cell in exchange for being patient and not biting day one.
  • I'd prefer a physical copy, but oh well.  They have everything so tied to updates and the internet, it won't matter down the road.  I can still fire up my SNES and play all of those games no problem.  But in 30 years, there will likely be no way to play these older games if your hard drive dies, since you probably won't be able to re-download.  They'll want to sell you a re-release, if it's even considered at all.