A day after Sony revealed crucial details about its next high-end gaming console (quite possibly, the PlayStation 5), Microsoft has announced its long-rumoured disk-free Xbox One S. Called simply the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, Microsoft’s new Xbox One S refresh drops the on-board Blu-ray drive to go all digital. Launched at a price of $249, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will ship with a 1TB HDD and digital copies of Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Minecraft out-of-the-box. Rest of the specs (and design) stay the same as the original Xbox One S. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will start selling from May 7.
With the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, Microsoft is taking a step forward in the era of digital/cloud gaming – while it’s nowhere close to its xCloud game streaming service, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition gives a taste of things to come. Also, a disk-free design lets Microsoft offer the new console cheaper – it costs $50 less than the original Xbox One X.
Still, the Xbox One S All-Digital console is more like a makeshift shelter, rather than the actual destination. Microsoft is reportedly working on two high-end consoles – expected to arrive sometime in 2020.
Microsoft’s next flagship gaming console is reportedly codenamed Anaconda – this should be a successor of the Xbox One X. While the other, codenamed Lockhart, is said to be a more affordable offering on the lines of the Xbox One S. Both Anaconda and Lockhart Xbox consoles are reportedly part of Microsoft’s Scarlett project.
The Anaconda Xbox, as mentioned earlier, will be successor of the Xbox One X – aka Project Scorpio – and will resultantly be the more powerful of the two consoles that Microsoft is working on. This invariably means new and improved hardware – processor, graphics – including faster SSD storage under the hood.
The current-generation Xbox One X is the most powerful gaming console in the world right now, and it isn’t even a next-generation device but a mid-cycle refresh. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft has in store with regards to its true next-generation console.
It isn’t clear if Anaconda refers to the actual console or the dev kit at this point of time. The Xbox One X dev kit, to recall, was codenamed Chuckwalla.
The other console, aka Lockhart, is said to be the more affordable one of the two consoles but it will reportedly pack hardware comparable or even slightly more powerful to the existing Xbox One X.