Will there be an Xbox Series X disc-less "All-Digital" version?

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X (Image credit: Microsoft)

Will there be an Xbox Series X disc-less "All-Digital" version?

Best answer: Right now, we don't know. It could arrive in the future, but for now, Microsoft has only announced a disc-based Xbox Series X.Xbox Series X via subscription: Xbox All Access ($31/month at Amazon)

A disc-less Xbox Series X?

Microsoft has its disc-less Xbox One S, dubbed the "All-Digital Edition," which shaves a few dozen dollars off the recommended retail price in exchange for ditching the discs. While the initial $50 saving didn't seem worth sacrificing the disc drive for, subsequent sales and further price reductions have actually made the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition a decent seller. It is frequently sold out during sales, and during the recent lockdown, it has been difficult to find at various retailers as more of us stay at home.

The truth is, the amount saved from removing the disc drive is quite negligible. Disc drives aren't exactly expensive to implement, yet it's undoubtedly the case that most consumers may feel like they're losing something significant if they choose not to buy one. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition seems to sell better primarily during sales for this reason when the savings over its disc-based cousin run higher than just $50. Microsoft is unlikely to be actually saving $50 simply because they removed the disc drive. However, it does form a potential long-term play of driving more of us away from physical discs.

The margins on digital purchases and subscription services like Xbox Game Pass are much better for Microsoft than the disc-based market, which in some cases, actually detracts from sales, as discs re-enter circulation through reselling. It's with that in mind that we probably could see a disc-less Xbox Series X one day, even if we're not getting one in 2020.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is 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 tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!