Microsoft is currently working on its next generation of game consoles, and it has been rumored that one of its new systems will not feature a disc drive. Now, the company appears to be close to making this a reality, as an all-digital Xbox One is reportedly coming next year.
According to Thurrott, the disc-free Xbox One system will cost around $200, down significantly from the standard price of current models. The console will apparently launch alongside a “disc-to-digital” program that gives players the option of turning in their old disc-based games for download codes.
“As for Scarlett, Microsoft is still trying to decide if that console will include a disc drive but should be making the final decision here shortly,” the report continued.
With the introduction of Project xCloud and the increasing share of sales digital games get over physical discs, it only makes sense that Microsoft would offer a cheaper console alternative. However, with download speeds still not uniformly high across the United States, it seems likely that the next generation of Xbox systems will come with at least one model offering a disc drive. Game file sizes have ballooned over the last few years, with the recent Red Dead Redemption 2 taking up about 100GB and actually coming on two Blu-ray discs.
You won’t need an Xbox One console to enjoy the system’s games through Project xCloud, however. The service is designed to run on a number of different devices, including phone. With support for traditional controllers, as well as special touch screen functionality, you can essentially have the full console experience in the palm of your hand.
Microsoft faces some hefty competition in the streaming space from Google’s Project Stream service. Functioning similarly to xCloud, Project Stream lets you play games directly in your Chrome Browser and is currently in a closed beta period — one we’ve gotten access to. Thus far, only Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is available through the program, but it allows you to stream the game in quality fairly close to the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. It supports several different controllers, as well as mouse-and-keyboard setups.
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