Microsoft have announced a new, updated version of the Xbox One S and their latest console has no optical drive. That’s the biggest signal to the industry to date, that their traction with digital distribution has reached a saturation level that opens the door to a post-disc world.
The Xbox One S All Digital Edition features a 1TB HDD and comes with 3 games bundled to get you started. Those games are Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3.
A move to a world without discs is massively disruptive to the gaming industry as it places severe questions around the future of game sales at retail outlets.
Since getting an Xbox One X, I haven’t bought physical media, instead all my games come from digital downloads, something made easy with a FTTP NBN internet connection. This downloading games is a fairly speedy process, however as games increase in size, even a connection of 100/40Mbps, downloads can takes a while.
The other complimentary nail in the coffin is Microsoft’s monthly gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass which allows you to access more than 100 games for a low monthly cost.
As we look to the future of gaming, Google’s game streaming service, Stadia doesn’t even require downloads, instead the game is rendered on their server infrastructure and the resulting video frames sent over the net to your display. Your corresponding inputs from the controller are sent back using what’s promised to be ultra-low latency.
If I was in retail, selling video games, I’d officially start looking for a new job, the writing’s on the wall and it’s not written in pencil,
Not all Australians will be happy with this industry trend, given the mess that is the NBN. With so many varied connections, achieving a download of up to 100GB is going to be painful depending on your location.
The Xbox One X
More information at Xbox.com