Xbox One S All-Digital: Price, Release Date & Features for CD-Less Console
Microsoft announced a brand new Xbox this week, and it’s very different from what gamers were expecting. The highly anticipated, next-generation Xbox “Scarlett” consoles are still about a year away. In the meantime, Microsoft plans to release the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, a console unlike any other before it.
During the April 16 episode of Inside Xbox, Microsoft revealed a new interim gaming system would completely ditch the disc-drive. Instead, it will allow gamers to play games they’ve downloaded and installed over the internet. It will be the first major console to turn its back on CDs, and Microsoft believes the change is a natural progression in gaming, just like how the film and music industries have largely stopped using discs.
“We’ve seen a digital transformation across gaming, music, TV and movies,” reads a company press release. “The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition was created for those who prefer to find and play their games digitally and are looking for the most affordable way to play Xbox games.”
The announcement confirms months of rumors that a disc-less Microsoft console called, “Xbox Maverick” was on the horizon. The upcoming console will join the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, and could tempt casual gamers that don’t already own a console, Piers Harding-Rolls, the Director of Research and Analysis for Games at IHS Markit, previously told Inverse.
“A disc-less version of the Xbox One, is an opportunity to offer a smaller, potentially cheaper device to target an audience that is happy to buy all content digitally,” he said.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and whether it’s worth your money.
Xbox One S All-Digital: Price
The new Xbox will cost $250, $50 less than the Xbox One S and half the price of the 4K resolution-supporting, Xbox One X. This pricing strategy has raised some eye-brows especially as this generation of Xboxes is expected to be replaced next year by Microsoft’s next-gen consoles.
Currently, the more capable Xbox One S is on sale at Best Buy for $250 in a bundle that includes a game. The All-Digital Edition can’t play Blue-ray discs, DVDs, or old Xbox games that users have stashed away. It also won’t let gamers resell any of the games they buy online for it.
That’s a lot of drawbacks to save $50.
Xbox One S All-Digital: Pre-Order and Release Date
The pre-order window for the console opened on April 16. Interested buyers can visit to the Xbox online shop right now to reserve a unit. It will then hit shelves on May 7 as predicted by the rumors that predated its announcement.
Xbox One S All-Digital: Features
As mentioned, the All-Digital Edition’s headlining feature is the absence a disc-drive. It will likely be especially tempting for avid Xbox Game Pass users who already pay to enjoy a smorgasbord of games from the list of over 100 titles the service makes readily available for download.
Gamers who already find themselves opting for digital copies of games, rather then ordering a physical copy, are the most likely to be swayed to make this purchase. However, it’s important to note that while the All-Digital Edition does not support 4K gaming, it does support 4K streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services.
Xbox One S All-Digital: Specs
The All-Digital comes with nearly identical tech specs as the Xbox One S, though it will have slightly better graphical capacity. Still, it’s extremely unlikely that users will be able to notice that marginal difference during gameplay.
Microsoft’s newest console comes with the following specifications:
- 1TB of HDD storage space.
- 8-core Custom Jaguar CPU at 1.75GHz
- Custom GPU at 914 MHz
- 12 CUs
- 1.4 teraflops of graphical capacity.
- 8 GB DDR3 at 68 GB/s
- 32 MB ESRAM at 218 GB/s
Xbox One S All-Digital: Games
Upon purchase, the All Digital Edition will come with three pre-installed games users will be able to flip on and play. These include Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3, and Sea of Thieves.
For every other title, users will need to hit the Xbox Live button to browse through its library of games.
Xbox One S All-Digital: What About xCloud?
Microsoft is also working on getting its cloud gaming service, xCloud off the ground. The service has been demonstrated to give gamers the ability to play AAA titles on consoles, smartphones, tablets, and laptops all without having to download them or experience any wait times at all. Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Microsoft’s Xbox division, has already teased how it won’t kill consoles but complement them.
“We’re developing Project xCloud not as a replacement for game consoles, but as a way to provide the same choice and versatility that lovers of music and video enjoy today,” he said. “We’re adding more ways to play Xbox games.”
On paper, xCloud seems like a perfect match for the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Users could try out a game by streaming it and then decide to download it later. It could also come in handy for users who run out of storage space, but who don’t want to uninstall any of their games.
It’s a niche offering that won’t be too tempting for users who are eager to see what Xbox Scarlett, xCloud, and Microsoft’s other more ambitious gaming launches have in store. They are, after all, right around the corner. But if you’re already moving toward streaming, or have already begun the migration to dowloaded, streamed gaming content, the latest Xbox might be a worthy investment toward future-proofing your gaming setup.