Xbox All-Digital edition pre-order now. Time to say goodbye optical drives forever

When I first started gaming it was on a NES and inserting game cartridges was a common event (as was blowing the dust out). Since then we moved through optical media CD, DVDs to finally Blue-ray discs. Thankfully in 2019, the optical drive is dead.

Microsoft’s Xbox team has announced the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, is now available for pre-order in Australia and New Zealand, ahead of its launch on August 1st.

While I wish it was an Xbox One X, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is an absolute window to the future where the connected console (hopefully to a great NBN connection) is all you need.

I bought the first Xbox One at launch, then got the Xbox One X, and in the past 5-6 years have barely put optical discs in the drives. The reality is convenience wins and as we like to do, switching games often quickly becomes a hassle you can avoid if you live an all-digital life.

Personally, I’m lucky enough to have FTTP and a great internet connection, so downloading the close to 100GB modern games is not a problem. While not everyone is in this situation, you can see the trajectory connections are on and whether it’s NBN or 5G that gets you there, downloading is how games will be distributed in the future.

The idea of getting in your car and driving to a store to pick up a plastic case to return home, install, update and then finally get to play the game, feels like an approach from last century.

Microsoft says consumer appetite for digital content and experiences are stronger today than ever before. Given we now get our music, TV and Movies digitally, it makes sense gaming follows suit. If you’re a PC gamer and have used Steam or Oculus Rift, you’ve already made the leap to an all-digital experience. Microsoft’s own Xbox Game Pass is a digital-only subscription that lets you download more than 100 games for a flat monthly fee.

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition comes with three of the most compelling and popular games of this console generation – Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3 and Sea of Thieves.

You can grab the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition for AU$349 (not as much as a discount as we’d hoped) from today (July 22nd) from the Microsoft StoreJB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman.

This also creates a very difficult trajectory for retail game outlets like EB Games. Given their abuse of sales, I won’t shed a tear when they join Blockbuster on the scrap heap.

More information on the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition below for reference and on the Xbox Wire.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


  1. As a PC gamer, I would like to point out that I didn’t choose to download games, I was pretty much forced to. Many PC games that come in a box only have a DVD that has a client installer on it and a license key, that downloads the game proper once its installed. Historically I have mostly had bad luck with internet connectivity, so this was for me less than ideal (the idea of downloading 100GB of data through an oversubscribed satellite link makes me shudder). As such, even though I now have a decent FTTC internet connection, I can empathize with those of us who have lost out on the NBN bandwidth lotto. As more of these types of services come online, the minimum requirement of 25mbits/sec download for the NBN becomes more of a joke.

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