MICROSOFT'S LONG-RUMOURED digital-only Xbox One console could make its official debut as soon as this week.
So says WinFuture, which has also obtained alleged images of the disc-less console (above). It reports that the system, which unsurprisingly looks like an Xbox One S without a built-in optical drive, will be unveiled on 16 April, likely at Microsoft's Inside Xbox event.
Backing up previous rumours, the report confirms that the console will go on sale on 7 May complete with three of Microsoft's biggest games pre-loaded; Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3, and Sea of Thieves.
It might not be as affordable as earlier rumours suggested, though. WinFuture reports that so-called Xbox One S All Digital, which will support 4K Ultra HD and HDR and ship with a single wireless controller and a 1TB hard drive, will sell for around €230 (around £200); the Xbox One S is currently available on Amazon for £179.
The report doesn't tell us much else about the incoming console, but separate rumours suggest that Microsoft is planning a "disc-to-digital" campaign where users can trade in disc-based games for a download code.
With Project xCloud game streaming soon to be available for testing, it's no surprise that Microsoft is plotting to go down an all-digital route, and with the likes of Google's Stadia game streaming service on the horizon, it looks like the age of the disc could finally be coming to an end.
While likely bad news for retailers and gamers with massive collections, a shift to digital would have its benefits; it would cut out the need to publish games on physical media, which should, in turn, make the production of games more affordable, at least on the publishing side. It would also cut down on the environmental impact of making and packaging a load of discs.
Microsoft's Xbox event kicks off tomorrow at 10pm UK time, and we'll be bringing you all of the latest. µ
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