With the advent of Downloadable Content (DLC) and digital sale of video games as opposed to physical copies, one can’t help but wonder when the tide will turn completely and games will stop having physical copies at all. Microsoft seems to have taken the initiative in this venture, however, as the ‘X-Box One S: All Digital Edition’ is reportedly all set to hit stores as soon as next month.
Codenamed Xbox ‘Maverick’, the console is supposed to allow gamers to ditch the concept of game discs entirely, replacing it with a system called ‘disc to digital’ wherein a player can turn in a physical copy of a game and convert it into a digital file that would be stored on the system itself. What’s more, the player can initially choose some games that they would like on their system at the time of pre-ordering, so that they can start out with whatever they’d like. This move could mark a huge shift in the annuls of video game history, replacing the decade old system of selling games on cartridges and discs that has been around since the time of systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System and the original PlayStation.
A potential benefit that could be derived from the ‘X-Box One S: All Digital Edition’ is that it introduction might drastically reduce the price of the other versions of the Xbox. The Xbox One S generally starts at $299 and it usually comes bundled with a video game, the likes of which range from Fortnite to Anthem. If this system truly does remove the disc feature, its possible that the price of the bundle will drop drastically allowing many more gamers to pick it up.
Furthermore, due to the Blu Ray feature being removed from this version of the console, it could very well be the cheapest version of the Xbox yet, and with Microsoft pushing for greater access to its vast gaming library via Xbox Game Pass digital subscriptions and the Project xCloud, this seems to be the state of affairs. The Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that provides access to more than 100 Xbox games, has been promoted extensively by the company, boasting many titles that are sure to attract many fans. Microsoft hasn’t provided exact Xbox Game Pass subscriber numbers, but its definitely safe to say that millions have paid monthly for the service.
One potential downside of the ‘X-Box One S: All Digital Edition’, from a gaming perspective, is the fact that players would not be able to trade physical copies of games or collect exclusive box arts, which has been an intrinsic part of gaming culture for many years now. Therefore at first glance, digitising everything may seem like a step too far, but in the interest of increasing accessibility of games to a wider audience without physical implementations getting in the way, it seems like a welcome addition to video gaming history.