Outside of PCs, all major gaming systems out there still accept physical media. For many this is still their preferred way to play. While I do not fall into this category (and have not purchased a physical game in years), discounts and the ability to resell beaten games on discs (or cartridges) are not lost on me.
According to a report published by Windows Central, Microsoft is likely preparing to release a digital-only version of its popular Xbox One S. The internal code name is ‘Xbox Maverick’ and preorders could open up as early as next month. It is anticipated that the new console will be called the “Xbox One S All-Digital Edition”.
Why should a digital Xbox One S exist?
There are several reason why digital-only consoles make sense. A couple primary reasons include sophistication and convenience. Having only purchased digital games for several years, the thought of swapping physical games between sessions or damaging media, are areas that constantly keep me from ever wanting to go back.
Additionally, the need to drive to a brick-and-mortar store or order online and wait for delivery are off-putting to say the least. Another reason I love digital games is that I can literally start playing a new release the moment it has been released. That’s right, when pre-ordering a game, it can be downloaded in advance so I can launch it immediately.
When taking all of these perks into consideration, there are plenty of reasons for Microsoft to make a digital Xbox One S. Even with all of that, there could be an even larger reason that Microsoft is making this console and it’s due to cost. By ditching parts inside of an Xbox, Microsoft could sell consoles at a lower price and make the more dominant platforms, PlayStation 4 and Switch, feel the heat.
When will we know more?
We should have more information within the next month or so. From the sound of things, Microsoft could announce and open up pre-orders in the middle of April. While it is early to predict the a general availability date, sometime during the month of May seems appropriate.
Out of all the consoles out there, we tend to see Microsoft’s current offerings get some of the steepest discounts in the gaming realm. Despite this, PlayStation and Switch still have managed to outsell the Xbox lineup for quite some time.
Bearing that in mind, it seems that the new console would have offer a significant price drop to pull customers away from Sony and Nintendo. A list price would have to come in at under $200 (perhaps $179), to garner a fair amount of attention. With a cost that is nearly half the price offered by its competitors, Microsoft may very well be able grab the marketshare it quite frankly deserves.
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