Microsoft's rumoured discless Xbox One could be set to launch next month, anonymous sources have claimed, under the somewhat clunky moniker of Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.
Rumours regarding a planned cut-price Xbox One console which ditches the Blu-ray optical drive began circulating back in November last year, claiming that the company was targeting a sub-$200 price point with what is effectively an Xbox One S minus the drive. It's a move echoed by Microsoft's rivals in the industry, though rarely on a current-generation mainstream home console: Sony removed the optical drive from its PlayStation Portable Go way back in 2009, and in more recent years both Sony and Nintendo have released miniaturised replica vintage games consoles which drop official expandability in favour of a pre-loaded selection of titles.
With Microsoft refusing to confirm or deny the rumours, as is to be expected, it's up to industry scuttlebutt to keep potential customers informed. Unnamed sources speaking to Windows Central claim that the device, purportedly codenamed Xbox Maverick, is both real and imminent: The device, the site's sources claim, will open for pre-order in April with retail availability in early May.
That launch, the sources further claim, will see the console branded the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition - a somewhat confusing moniker, given that Blu-ray discs are just as digital as downloads are, though it has not yet been confirmed whether the device will match the Xbox One S specifications blow-for-blow disc drive excluded or if it will ship with a larger hard drive to accommodate downloaded titles.
Windows Central also claims Microsoft is looking to capitalise on the popularity of Epic's Fortnite with a custom-skinned console and a bundled copy of the game, though it is not yet known whether this would be an Xbox One S All-Digital Edition or one of the existing models with disc drive included.
Microsoft, as is usual for the company, has not commented on what it traditionally decries as 'rumour and speculation'.
February 26 2021 | 22:15