Digital gaming continues to grow, shifting further from the days of discs and cartridges. Downloads have changed music, movies, and now games, with the promise of instant, on-demand access to the latest titles. And with the digital Xbox One ecosystem stronger than ever, Microsoft looks to debut its first disc-less console.
Here's what we know about the Xbox One S All-Digital, codenamed Maverick.
Enter the Xbox One S All-Digital
As exclusively revealed in March, our sources indicate the Xbox One's upcoming disc-less iteration will be named the "Xbox One S All-Digital Edition." This pairs with the codename "Maverick," used internally for the project at Microsoft. As first detailed by Brad Sams, the console will reportedly rework the existing entry-level Xbox One S, further cutting manufacturing costs in pursuit of a lower price. It's one of the most ambitious shake-ups in Xbox history, cutting a once-essential component amid growing services and digital purchases.
The Xbox One S All-Digital will likely pack near-identical internals to the standard Xbox One S, including a similar exterior, though forgoing the optical disc drive and eject button. Further non-essential gaming components could be cut in the process, although ideally not comprising the console's core gaming offerings. We recently recieved box art for
As exclusively reported in March, we also received product photography of the new Xbox One S All-Digital console, including the console's box art, prior to reveal. Early packaging indicates the device will pack a 1TB internal drive at launch, bundled alongside digital codes for Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Minecraft.
Ultimately, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition should deliver a similar experience to the existing Xbox One S. Your existing digital Xbox One and Xbox 360 games will play on the console, with comparable features and performance. It will lower the price of entry for Xbox newcomers, rather than replacing the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. And if it releases, expect branding to fall in line with existing Xbox One models.
However, even with the debut of a digital-only console, Microsoft isn't abandoning physical discs entirely. Future revisions beyond the Xbox One S All-Digital are expected to retain the drive, with discs likely stocked into the coming years. Digital adoption is growing, but numerous flaws leave many adverse to the switch.
Driving downoads with disc-to-digital and digital attach
Alongside Xbox Maverick, Microsoft will reportedly debut two new programs aimed at streamlining digital purchases. The first is a "disc-to-digital" program, which will help existing Xbox users fully transition into the digital ecosystem. The pairs with a "digital attach" system targeted towards new Xbox buyers getting started with online services.
Microsoft's rumored disc-to-digital process is proving promising, shaking up digital adoption with a new trade-in program. The initiative will allow Xbox users to deposit existing disc-based titles at select retailers, in return for a digital license. It makes a move into digital easier, cheaper, and might sway those undecided. In the long-term, this would convert more players to the storefront, increasing digital adoption ahead of the next major console refresh.
Details have also surfaced on a checkout service for new console buyers, attaching their purchases directly to the console. Codenamed Roma, the project could allow Microsoft to pre-load consoles with services like Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass, further reducing the setup of a clean console.
Xbox Maverick release date and pricing
Without official word from Microsoft, details on Xbox Maverick availability and pricing are yet to be confirmed. Our sources indicate general availability on May 7, 2019, with a near-global simultaneous launch. It may be revealed during an upcoming installment of Microsoft's Inside Xbox live show, with preorders opening in mid-April.
Likely positioned as a low-cost entry to the Xbox One family, reports indicate the console could drop to $199. That's a third off the existing Xbox One S, likely opening the console to a broader pool of casual gamers.
However, as with all pre-release projects, consider that Xbox Maverick may never hit store shelves. Internal plans can (and often) change, if Microsoft doesn't see it as a suitable addition to the Xbox lineup.
Are you interested in a disc-less Xbox One? Drop into the comments section below with your thoughts.
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