Is there a new Xbox One S on the horizon? According to a report by Windows Central, the answer is yes.
At first glance, this might seem a bit strange. After all the original Xbox One hit stores over five years ago and the One S is closing in on three years. There are also rumors swirling of a pair of new Xbox consoles dropping at this year’s E3 show in June.
However, this new console isn’t all that bizarre.
Codenamed Maverick and sporting the potential name Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, this new Xbox will forgo the disc drive entirely. This means it will rely solely on downloaded games from both the Microsoft Store and the Xbox Game Pass.
Due to its all-digital nature, it has the potential to bring with it a few upsides too. The biggest of these is size. Losing the disc drive could substantially reduce the overall size of the console. That alone is a huge benefit, especially for anyone who owns the monstrous launch edition Xbox One.
This new console could also come with a more budget-friendly price too. The current Xbox One S sells for an MSRP of $299. Drop the disc drive and the hardware the goes with it and the price could fall to $199 or even lower.
Finally, it could also offer the opportunity to stream content from your PC. Recently, we learned that you will soon be able to play Xbox games on your computer. If you take that just one step further, you could end up being able to stream them directly to your Xbox.
On the flip side of this, there are a few issues. For one, storage could pose a problem. While a 1TB hard drive could fit in a small package, it will still fill up quickly if you need to download everything. With games currently needing 40-70GB of space, 1TB is not as big as it used to be.
There’s also the issue of what happens to your content in the event the servers shut down. With a disc-based game, you can play it until the disc wears out. However, with digital content, you’re at the mercy of it still being available for download somewhere.
Unfortunately for those that don’t like the sound of this, the reality is, it’s probably the future of consoles. Microsoft is currently working on Project xCloud that will allow users to stream games to their devices. This technology will only get more prevalent as time goes on too.
As of right now, this All-Digital Edition is only a rumor, but a pretty strong one. According to Windows Central, pre-orders for the new console could come as soon as next month. A release could follow in May which would work out perfectly with the new consoles getting their debut in June.