Following a November report on Microsoft’s plans for a disc-free Xbox One S option, new reports suggest that new hardware will arrive on May 7 and sell for €229 in Europe.
Thurrott.com’s Brad Sams, who has been reliable on Microsoft-related hardware rumors in the past, this weekend pointed to reporting from German site WinFuture which “confirm everything I have reported so far.” That report includes purported shots of the “All Digital Edition” of the Xbox One S and its European packaging. The hardware displayed there looks identical to the existing Xbox One S—right down to the sizing—save for the lack of a hole for the disc drive on the front panel.
The reported packaging for the 1TB system includes logos for first-party title Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. It’s unclear if those games will be bundled with the hardware or simply included as part of a potential Xbox Games Pass subscription.
Sims also reiterated his reporting on a trade-in program Microsoft is planning for disc-based Xbox titles, codenamed Odessa, which would give customers the “ability to take disc-based games and trade them in for a token to download the digital version of the game.” Such a program would be necessary to maintain backward compatibility with many original Xbox and Xbox 360 discs players may have purchased before they were available as digital downloads.
How much cheaper?
The reported price of €229 would correspond to a price just over $250 in the United States, at current exchange rates. European prices routinely include value-added taxes and other fees that don’t correspond in the US, though. European retailers like GameStop currently charge €299.99 for a 1TB Xbox One S with a bundled game.
In the US, the existing, disc-drive-sporting Xbox One S technically retails for a $299 MSRP with a bundled game. In practice, though, the system/game bundles currently sell for $249 or lower at every major retailer, including Microsoft’s own stores.
We argued on these pages roughly two years ago that a disc-free Xbox One option could be an attractive option for the significant chunk of players that has already transitioned away from disc-based console games. But for that setup to work, the new hardware has to be significantly cheaper than the more capable disc-drive version. We’re eager to see if Microsoft can deliver on that additional value if and when the disc-drive-free Xbox One S is officially announced. ARS T
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