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Friday, January 31, 2014
A Discless Xbox One Could Be A Disaster
The possibility of releasing an Xbox One with a 1TB hard drive and no optical disc drive, despite its low $399 rumored price, woud not easily work for Microsoft, as the video game industry isn't ready for the transition.
Speculations come from The Verge, which has been checking out online forums and reported that besides a major update to Xbox One's dashboard coming on March and a white version of the Xbox One in the works, Microsoft may release a version of the console without a Blu-ray drive.
Microsoft confirmed the first Xbox One dashboard update and the release of the previously employee-only all-white console later this year. But it did not provide any comment on the discless device.
A discless version of the Xbox One would reroute all game purchases through the Xbox Live marketplace. This means that you could get games easier and they would load faster through your (solid?) DSL line, but the video game industry as well as the retail market doesn't seem to be ready for the transition. And without the promotion of a new console through the video game stores, its sales would be uncertain.
Gamers had been upset with the prospect of an Xbox One that would lack support for used games, with solely digital subscriptions and always-online authentication, even before the Xbox One reach the market.
The case would be different if Microsoft offered a new discless Xbox One at a price lower than the rumored $399, which would match the price of Sony's PS4. But judging from the internal components of Microsoft's console, removing the BD drive would not justify any significant retail price cut.
There is also the possibility to see a new Blu-ray disc format for 4K content some time later this year. Although it is not certain whether the current BD drive of the Xbox One will be compatible with the new discs, loosing the optical disc reader completely would frustrate both early and future adopters.