Do you need a Blu-ray drive for movies in your Xbox One?
You lose more than just 4K discs
Support for digital UHD movies on the Xbox One platform has been spotty at best. Although the situation in the US is much better than it is in Europe and other territories, support for UHD Blu-ray discs is far more widespread than it is for 4K digital content. This is particularly true on buy-to-own platforms like Microsoft Movies & TV, especially for TV series and shows.
Beyond Microsoft Movies & TV, you have the option of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more for 4K media consumption, all without a disc drive. However, when you buy digitally on Xbox (or any platform), you never really truly own your content. Licensing issues, terms of service violations, and simple service shutdowns can lead to you losing your digital content forever. This is particularly risky on Microsoft, who have a proven track record of shutting down consumer-oriented digital sales businesses, such as Microsoft Books, and Groove Music. There's no guarantee whatsoever they won't eventually shut down their digital movies and shows platform too.
In addition to losing the option for 4K Blu-ray movies, you also lose the option of buying games on disc. While Microsoft's commitment to its gaming library is far stronger than its commitment to its Movies & TV platform, if you want to keep those games forever, having them on a physical disc is a always a safer long-term bet. Additionally, having them on disc gives you the option of trading games in when you're done with them. Once you go digital, there's nothing you can do with that license when you're done with the game.
If you have faith in the digital future, you can save some $$$ by picking up the cheaper Xbox One S All-Digital Edition console, otherwise, the disc-bound regular Xbox One S (or even Xbox One X) will prove more versatile.
For digital fans
You can save a few bucks on the disc-less All-Digital Edition bundle, which also comes with three games.
For disc fans
While potentially more expensive than the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition bundle, the Xbox One S disc drive gives you access to a world of 4K Blu-ray movie content.
For 4K movies AND gaming
If you want the best Xbox One has to offer, the super-powered Xbox One X is the console to buy. 4K movies AND 4K games, truly lets you max-out that 4K TV.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!