Microsoft's $250 'All-Digital' Xbox One S is now available for pre-order

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

In terms of design, there really isn't much to say about the disc-less Xbox One S. The device is completely identical to its normal counterpart, but -- as you might expect -- the disc tray is missing.

The design isn't the main attraction for the new Xbox One S, though; that honor goes to its price tag, which is now $250 versus the standard Xbox One S' $300 cost. That's a pretty deep discount, and Microsoft is even throwing three free digital games into the mix: Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3, and Sea of Thieves.

Furthermore, you'll get a free month of Xbox Live Gold (which gives you multiplayer access, among other goodies) and a "special offer" for Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service, which has been called the "Netflix of games" in the past.

The major trade-off here is obviously the lack of a disc drive, meaning you lose the ability to play physical game copies on the device. This may be worthwhile to a fairly large portion of gamers, but for those who retain fond memories of camping out at their local game store for midnight game releases, the console might be less appealing.

Unfortunately for those individuals, the wind probably won't be blowing in their favor for much longer. A digital-focused, always-online console (the new Xbox One S is not the latter, to be clear) is something Microsoft has been hoping to launch for years now.

However, it has always been a matter of timing: the original Xbox One was going to be an always-connected, anti-used game device at first, but Microsoft misjudged how the public would react to the idea - it was too soon, and pressure from the public forced the company to change things up. Now, though, the gaming landscape has changed. We are living in the age of "live services," and plenty of AAA games require constant internet connections right out of the gate. As a result, gamers are starting to become desensitized to the idea, for better or worse.

With that in mind, this new Xbox One S could be an attempt to subtly acclimate gamers to the notion of giving up more control of their gameplay. Instead of slapping on an increased price tag as Microsoft did with the original Xbox One X, though, the company is instead offering up financial incentives to anyone who buys into this idea: $50 savings and the previously-mentioned free games, in this case.

The end goal for Microsoft will likely be to convince as many gamers as possible to sign up for the upcoming "Project xCloud" game streaming service - but only time will tell.

If the new disc-free Xbox One S sounds like your cup of tea, you can pre-order via Microsoft's official website. The first consoles are expected to ship out on May 8.

Xbox One S comparison image courtesy Engadget

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m4a4

TS Evangelist
Eh, I guess it's a nice option to have, but I'll be sticking with more game market choice (disc) for as long as I can.
 
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Xclusiveitalian

TS Evangelist
Xbox One S? The console that runs games at sub 25 fps? hahaha I thought they were doing an XBox One X disk-less, this is pointless
 

Bubbajim

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
I would buy this instantly if there was a disc-less resale market. I'm sure it would be easy to implement a system whereby people sell their licence to play a game, and the recipient gets a digital copy of it. Microsoft could take a cut, and everyone's happy.

As it is, with new games costing like £60 from digital storefronts, and sales being quite rare, I'll stick with Steam!
 

Hardware Geek

TS Addict
At $200 this would be a good option for my kids, but at $250 with 3 games I have no interest in is an instant nope from me. Let me pick the 3 games I want and maybe, but I think it should be $200 with a choice of games. I'm sure this will end up on sale for $200 quite soon
 
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BigMack70

TS Booster
Isn't the 4k blu ray player one of the main selling points of the Xbox One S? Why would you get rid of that to save $50? This seems like a really bad deal.
 

Scshadow

TS Evangelist
I would buy this instantly if there was a disc-less resale market. I'm sure it would be easy to implement a system whereby people sell their licence to play a game, and the recipient gets a digital copy of it. Microsoft could take a cut, and everyone's happy.

As it is, with new games costing like £60 from digital storefronts, and sales being quite rare, I'll stick with Steam!
Why would anyone ever do this? Who, in any industry, allows licensing to be forwarded to another individual after claimed? Why should we ever be allowed to do it? Software is not a physical asset. For instance, a tool is made with materials and labor and you directly compensate that company for materials and labor. You fully own it, so you can sell it. But software licensing, you agree to pay a fraction of the labor costs with the understanding you don't own the product. Why would a consumer have the right to resell a product they didn't pay for in full?