Releasing a console with no disc drive is a bold move . Microsoft are testing the waters with a download only version of the Xbox One S, that is rumoured to be arriving sometime in early May.
But how will a console that only allows downloads from the Xbox Store be received by families?
With the current One 2 model sitting around £170 in the UK, excluding all of the disc tech *may* bring the cost of the console down but we’re not yet sure by how much. So there’s a possibility that the console might be the target for parents or people on a budget.
But there’s a huge caveat that people should consider when weighing up whether to buy a Disc-less edition or the regular One S.
There will be a huge dis-parity in games prices between the high street and the Xbox Store.
If you’re not a regular visitor to the Xbox Store, you may not notice that many of the prices don’t regularly change from their full price tag.
Discounts do occur, but they are scarce.
As opposed to the high street – retailers will drop prices after the initial release to encourage late adopters… and let’s not forget the pre-owned games market.
For owners of the Disc-less Xbox – you won’t be able to benefit from these prices.
I wonder if Microsoft considered the psychologic effect on gamers or parents who see a deal for physical GTAV (for example) on game.com and head over to the Xbox Store to purchase – only to find that it’s twice the price of Game’s online offer.
I can imagine that some will become quite upset when they discover that, by buying a Disc-less Xbox, they’re locking themselves into a more rigid pricing system for the games themselves.
It could end up costing them much more than they would have spent on a regular Xbox One S.
( With a 1TB hard drive apparently being included with the system, the purchase of a second hard drive is likely compulsory. But that’s no different to any modern console, really. )
This might not help Microsoft in their struggle to fight against Sony’s dominance in the next generation.
Who is the Xbox One All Digital Edition aimed at?
- People who only buy games digitally – ignoring physical media entirely.
- People who might be quite happy to live within the Xbox Gamepass eco system. Only playing games released as part of the Xbox Game-pass subscription.
Who shouldn’t buy an Xbox One All Digital Edition?
- People and families on a tight budget. Which almost seems counterintuitive, because we think the console will be cheaper. But – if you want to play Red Dead 2 for example, you’ll be forced to pay out the full £59.99 RRP for the game, where you can pick it up on the second hand market for £20 – £30 for a physical disc.
- People who just generally like to buy second hand games, or like to wait until the retailers drop their prices after the initial launch.
- People who would want the Xbox Console to be their primary BluRay (or 4k BluRay) player. While the Xbox has a vast array of media streaming apps, the HD and 4K BluRay players are fantastic value for money.
Be careful Microsoft…
We all remember how upset we were when Don Mattrick popped on the Xbox stage to tell us that we could no longer share physical games with our friends. This put the ball firmly in Sony’s camp to steal the generation – and they absolutely did.
Microsoft – and indeed the retailers – need to be very careful about how they market this console. They could easily score another own-goal and mess up their reputation in the eyes of gamers and parents around the world.
That’s a trust that’s hard to earn, but very VERY easy to lose.
(Images from Windows Central. We’ll be happy to remove their images if they ask us to.)
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