Digitally Dynamic: Microsoft’s First Disc-Free Xbox

Recently, Microsoft announced its first disc-free Xbox — the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Instead of using physical discs, users will download, play and store games entirely digitally.

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will allow gamers to pre-order and pre-install upcoming games so they are ready to play as soon as they are released. Gamers can also store their games in the cloud.

The console sale date is slated for May 7 in the U.S. and $249 USD, which is actually cheaper than a console with a traditional disc drive.

A new console will come with three pre-installed games — Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3. It will also have one terabyte of storage.

The move by Microsoft comes after a shift they’ve seen in buying dynamics away from physical disc use.

As Jeff Gatis, Xbox general manager of platform and device marketing, has noted, “Consumer appetite for digital content and experiences are stronger today than ever before. Gaming and technology have changed quite a bit since the first Xbox debuted in 2001.”

He continued by saying that, “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.”

Currently, Xbox is also in the development phase of a video game streaming service, called Project xCloud. Project xCloud would allow gamers to play console-quality Xbox games on any device, even smartphones.

As noted by Microsoft, “Developers of the more than 3,000 games available on Xbox One today, and those building the thousands that are coming in the future, will be able to deploy and dramatically scale access to their games across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work.”

Public trials for Project xCloud will begin this year.