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Digital-Only Xbox One S Thread
Quote:Microsoft is reportedly bringing the new console to market as a way to lower the base cost of entry into the Xbox ecosystem. Pre-orders are expected by April, with the console actually going on-sale in May. Given the rumors, we suspect the system will be reworked to lower the BoM when possible, though no additional information has been provided in terms of port loadouts or wireless support. The rumor is that Microsoft is targeting a price point as much as $100 below the current $299 Xbox One S price.

The company hasn’t forgotten its customers who still rely on discs, however. Reportedly there will be a disc-to-digital program at Microsoft stores, allowing gamers to transfer physical copies to digital licenses. Details of how this would work haven’t been rolled out and the program isn’t officially announced. There’s also supposedly a cost-reduced version of the Xbox One S coming later this year as well that would keep the ability to play physical discs but still target a price below $299.
The chart from the NPD Group, shown above, illustrates just how dramatically sales have shifted from retail to online outlets. According to NPD data, even in 2013, 46 percent of console games were still sold in physical stores. Today, that ratio has fallen to 21 percent. I’ve long been a proponent of keeping physical distribution — there are too many people with metered connections or slow download speeds for me to feel comfortable with an all-digital distribution system — but it’s clear that patterns are changing. Microsoft’s latest Xbox One will attempt to change with them.
Quote:The rumors were true. Microsoft has announced an Xbox variant with no optical disc drive called the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. It looks the same as any other Xbox One S with the important distinction that there’s no drive slot on the front. Microsoft will push game downloads, and it’s including a few of them free with the console. That might nudge some people to drop $250 on the device when it launches in a few weeks, but the pricing still seems too high.

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