Tag Archives: xbox one s all digital edition

We Have Concerns About An All-Digital Future

In November of 2013, Microsoft faced blowback after revealing that their new console would require an “always online” internet connection and that game ownership would be tied to players’ Xbox Live accounts, making it harder to trade in games and even lend them to friends. Sony capitalized on that blowback with their infamous E3 dunk. But now, looking towards what seems like the final year of this console generation’s life cycle, the “always on” digital future of consoles that once worried us is basically upon us once again.

Google has announced their online-only gaming platform, Stadia, and this week, Xbox became the first major console manufacturer to enter the digital-only future with their Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Sony also revealed details for their next-gen console this week without mentioning any “always online” catch, so we know that hardware won’t be going away any time soon. Still, with digital sales on the rise, these announcements have me a little worried about physical games eventually going the way of the LaserDisc.

I talked with Kotaku’s Heather Alexandra to raise the question: Are games headed towards an all-digital future?

Watch the video to watch our entire discussion or read a short excerpt here:

Heather: … The Capcom Home Arcade is this arcade stick with arcade games, but it’s like a handful of games. Or the new Sega console that they’re doing. There’s going to be a point where I don’t have access to those.

In theory, I don’t have easy access to [older games] and it’s frustrating to see companies not really maintain and provide access to their older games and curate proper libraries. And now to move our current generation of games to something that is more ephemeral and less tangible— it’s really scary.

Paul: That’s what makes this all-digital Xbox One S so fascinating to me, because we’re starting to see what’s been happening to laptops and other mobile devices for so long, which is: most people don’t use this drive, so we’re going to rip it out, make it cheaper to mass produce, and make it cheaper for the consumer. And anybody who wants that drive can buy an optional thing on the side. So I’m curious what the answer is moving forward that could replace cartridges or discs.

Heather: I don’t know. The thing that scares me about preservation and what it means to have digital games only is, I’m super afraid that companies are going to curate what they think are important games and provide access to only those things, and then that’s all we have.

Source: Kotaku.com

New Disc-Less Xbox One Coming In May, Will Cost $250

Microsoft officially announced a new, all-digital version of the Xbox One S during the latest episode of Inside Xbox today, confirming previous rumors. It will have a 1 TB hard drive and be priced at $250, with Microsoft saying it will receive price drops as necessary that will make it always cheaper than the standard Xbox One S.

“We expect to maintain at least a $50 difference between Xbox One S and the all-digital version during sales,” said Microsoft’s Lawrence Hryb. That means that while the price of the Xbox One S All-Digital is technically $250, it will sometimes be less than that.

For example, Microsoft currently lists several Xbox One S bundles, including one with The Division 2, for $250. Based on what Hryb said, the Xbox One S All-Digital should only be $200 right now. Currently, however, pre-orders for the new console are priced at $250.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the apparent discrepancy.

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is the same as the existing Xbox One S minus the optical drive, meaning it won’t play physical discs. Instead, players will need to download games from the Microsoft Store. To help with this t comes with Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3 pre-installed.

In addition, owners will have the option paying $1 for a three-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft also announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate today, a subscription that combines both Game Pass and Xbox Gold into a single bundle for $15 a month. It’s clear the All-Digital Edition and new Game Pass Ultimate tier are meant to dovetail together, but since neither is dramatically cheaper than the existing alternatives, the entire package feels slightly lackluster.

In exchange for a $50 discount upfront, potential All-Digital owners are giving up the optical-drive, and with it the ability to take advantage of cheap, older used games from not just this console generation but past ones as well thanks to Microsoft’s robust backwards compatibility program. For people who only plan to download games digitally it’s still a nice, cheaper option to have, but it’s not as aggressive as some might have expected this late into a console generation in which the Xbox One has lagged behind its predecessor.

Source: Kotaku.com