In another ominous harbinger for the end of physical media, Microsoft is reportedly preparing to launch a new “disc-less” version of its popular Xbox One S, which was the first gaming console to support Ultra HD Blu-ray disc playback.

Website Windows Central posted photographs Thursday of the forthcoming new version of the console, to be called Xbox One S All-Digital edition. It was previously reported by Brad Sams at under the codename “Maverick.”

Windows Central said the console is expected to debut next month, likely at Inside Xbox, with an early-mid May launch window.

The console reportedly appears to be equipped with a 1TB HDD and with Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Minecraft digital codes bundled into the box. It is also expected to be aimed at newcomers and will likely have one of the lowest price points of all current Xbox One consoles.

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The news of a disc-less Xbox One S follows the recent confirmation by Samsung that it will no longer produce new Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players. That followed Oppo Digital’s withdrawal from the categories last year. Some have suggested that this spells the eventual end for disc-based media, although it is likely to be some years before discs and disc players disappear entirely from the market.

Despite the introduction, it is unlikely Microsoft is ready to step away from disc-based systems entirely. The Xbox One S and Xbox One X, which also features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc compatible disc drive, continues to sell well.

In addition, rumors have been posted around the Internet that Microsoft is working on another series of Xbox “Scarlett” consoles, codenamed “Lockhart” and “Anaconda.” At least one of these models is believed to continue to support physical media.


By Greg Tarr


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