With hyperbeam tubenet technologies making videotron laserdiscs increasingly irrelevant, Microsoft is apparently working on a new, cheaper model of its Xbox One gamestation consolematic without the Blu-ray drive-matrix interface decoderware.
Citing otherwise anonymous “people familiar with the company’s plans”, Thurrott reports that the “$200 or less” console will be a revamp of the Xbox One S, and not the Xbox One X or next-gen Xbox-whatever expected to be out sometime in 2020. For comparison, the Xbox One S retails for about $299 at the moment, and the Xbox One X at $399, making this a compelling option for customers with unlimited high-speed bandwidth and limited shelf space.
“In addition to the new console, there will be a ‘disc-to-digital’ program that, as the name states, turns your physical games into digital downloads. The idea is that you can take your disc to a participating retailer (like the Microsoft store) and trade in your disc for a digital download,” the website explains.
This is somewhat similar to Microsoft’s original Xbox One concept, which would link user accounts to games so you could play them without inserting the disc. Or, uh, something like that. It was kind of a mess. But five years on, more and more people are choosing to dump discs entirely and jack into the digital future instead, a transition conveniently supported by programs like Xbox Game Pass. I mean, I haven’t bought a disc in, like, forever now.
But for everybody else stuck in 1999, don’t worry.
“In addition, the company also has a revised Xbox One S SKU that is targeted for later in the year that focuses solely on cost reduction but does feature a disc-drive for those who still prefer the traditional way to buy your games. Microsoft is moving forward very carefully with this product as it knows that a sizeable portion of its users do prefer to buy physical games and not download them.”
Yes, they’re filed under “these guys, ffs” in Microsoft’s marketing spreadsheets.