Over recent years, Microsoft has certainly been pushing for an all-digital Xbox future. The cheaper Series S has no disc drive and Xbox Game Pass is an ever-growing digital library. Well, new rumors are suggesting that the next-gen Xbox will have a separate disc drive, much like Sony’s crafty PS5 Slim design.
According to ‘MAGG’, the next-gen Xbox console will be an “all-digital console”, and those wanting a disc drive will need to purchase it separately. It would be no surprise to see this feature function very similarly to the PS5 Slim, which has a panel to add or remove the external disc drive, letting Sony price the base console lower as a result.
Although Microsoft took a dual-console approach with the current Xbox generation, with the cheaper and weaker Series S compared to the powerful Series X, releasing a single console with no disc drive is a smart move to reduce the price without sacrificing power. The Series S may be cheap, but it’s certainly not as powerful as the competition which has caused issues for developers. For example, it was the main issue delaying the Xbox port of Baldur’s Gate 3. In other words, creating new Xbox games should be more streamlined for developers if there is one, powerful Xbox console to cater to.
Likewise, Xbox has long championed backwards compatibility, expanding the diversity of the best Xbox games to include classic hits from previous generations. A disc drive will be a necessity for many with physical game collections wanting to play their older library on the next-gen Xbox.
Nevertheless, if the next-generation Xbox does indeed default to not feature a disc drive as MAGG claims, then this is undoubtedly a step towards an all-digital future. While this will be convenient for many and the potential lower price is a tasty offer, physical media is vital to preserving games. This has been an important discussion over recent years, so no doubt an official reveal of this reported disc-driveless Xbox would be met with backlash from some in the community.
With news of major Xbox exclusives moving to PS5, the next generation of Xbox consoles has certainly been brought into question, though Phil Spencer has promised a business update soon to reveal the future of Xbox. The next-gen Xbox is still a long time away, however, so it’s worthwhile taking a look at the best Xbox Game Pass games to pass the time.