Surprise, surprise. As this "leak" by WinFuture shows, Microsoft's alleged all-digital Xbox One S looks exactly similar to its sibling, save for the lack of a Blu-Ray drive.
This should perhaps come as no surprise — the design isn't that different because the console isn't that different, either — it's still as powerful as the Xbox One S, only it can't accept physical media.
At least in European markets, the console would carry a 1 TB hard drive with preinstalled copies of Forza Horizon 3, Minecraft, and Sea of Thieves to keep players occupied as soon as they open their brand-new console.
All-Digital Xbox One S
There's no telling when Microsoft might unveil its all-digital Xbox One S, but word has it that it could be unveiled as soon as April 16 and reach Europe by May 7. If true, expect a similar time frame for other countries.
Prior rumors said it would be cheap, but as per WinFuture, that doesn't seem to be the case. This version would sell for €230, or about $260. Of course, that price point is still alleged, and even if it's true there's always a chance for pricing to change for elsewhere in the world. That's not much of a bargain, but considering there's three games out of the box, it's still a pretty good deal, especially for users who don't care much for having a disc drive.
The Disc-Less Generation
Will a disc-less home console thrive in this current generation? Very likely. Most people actually prefer digital media over physical ones, as they're less fussy to purchase, easier to access, and, in numerous cases, load faster.
Besides the convenience of having digital titles always at the ready, the console is also believed to represent an initial experiment toward all-digital services as Microsoft prepares its next-generation Xbox lineup. If this finds an ample audience, Microsoft might be more willing to embrace a disc-less future. Google's Netflix-like Stadia games subscription service completely erases discs and other physical media out of the picture, the same with other companies' planned streaming services.
While it's too early to declare physical media dead, it's clear it's the future Microsoft is willing to welcome. The only downside to this is players wouldn't be able to re-sell digital games or let other friends borrow them, as they can with physical media.
Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more about Microsoft's plans for the all-digital Xbox One S. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!