The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is Microsoft’s new discless console. One of the first games consoles to eschew physical media entirely, this is an interesting direction for Xbox to take a new console variant.
How Is the All-Digital Edition Different from the Xbox One S?
The difference is simple but significant - the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition has no Blu-Ray player. This means any physical Xbox games or DVDs/Blu-Rays you have will not work with this console, as there is literally nowhere for them to go. The size and shape of the whole console are both the same as the normal Xbox One S, which is fine although one might have hoped for a slightly smaller form factor given the fact that Microsoft’s removed a significant piece of hardware from it.
The specs are identical to those of the Xbox One S, which means a 1TB hard drive, an 8-core CPU, a 1.4 teraflop GPU and 8GB of RAM. Naturally, this means you don’t get the power of the Xbox One X and its 4K gaming capabilities. Whether we’ll see a discless Xbox One X in the future is an interesting possibility to consider though.
What does the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition come with?
Alongside the console and a single controller, the All-Digital Edition comes packaged with three games - Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3 and Sea of Thieves. It will also come with an unspecified special offer on the Xbox Game Pass, the console’s games-on-demand service.
Xbox One S All-Digital Edition Price and Availability
Pre-orders for the console are already open. You will be able to buy the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition from May 7, where it will cost $250 for all the games and kit described above. This is currently the only version available.
Is the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition Worth It?
While this is now the cheapest way to enjoy modern Xbox console experience, it’s questionable as to if it’s really that good a deal. Based on the consoles’ MSRPs, you only get a $50 discount in return for giving up the system's 4K Blu-ray player. And when the standard Xbox One S is on sale with a bundled game (as it currently is with several different permutations on Xbox’s own website), The All-Digital Edition, despite having three games included, looks less convincing as the budget-friendly option.
You’re going to have to be sure that you’ll never be tempted to buy a physical game again, and that your internet speed is fast enough to cope with however much downloading you’ll want to do. It’s completely believable that in future we’ll see fully discless consoles, perhaps even the upcoming Xbox Scarlett. But the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will be early proof of whether we as players, and the online and retail structures that gaming is currently built on, are ready for that future or not.