Microsoft is rumoured to be opening pre-orders for its new disc-less Xbox console next month.
Rumours of a disc-less Xbox One first surfaced last November, when it was thought this console would join Microsoft’s line of existing current-gen hardware rather than be a next-gen launch. It was expected to release as early as spring/Q2 2019, and as it would only be able to play digital games, it could cost as much as $100 less than the present system.
In order not to dissuade sales to those who are interested but already own physical Xbox One games, Microsoft is thought to be considering a "disc-to-digital" program that will permit players to trade in their physical games for a digital code instead.
According to Windows Central, Microsoft will start accepting pre-orders for the ‘Xbox Maverick’ console – thought to be formally called Xbox One S All-Digital Edition – from next month, and go on-sale in May 2019 in a "near-global simultaneous launch". Further rumours suggest there might be a Fortnite Edition console, too.
It’s an interesting step given Microsoft recently announced its much-awaited game streaming service, Project xCloud and, of course, now offers its digital Xbox Game Pass service. The service, for which closed trials are starting now, uses Xbox console components embedded into Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing centres to deliver console games to phones, tablets and beyond.
Of course, both Sony and Microsoft are developing next-generation systems, too. For the latter, the new console has been codenamed Scarlett and is expected to retail sometime in 2020, and some believe a new Xbox One S with disc drive will also be announced in 2019, and that too will retail for less than its current price point.