Microsoft’s love for new hardware is incredibly apparent. The last generation saw the release of the Xbox 360, the 360 Elite, the 360 Slim, and a few other iterations. With the current generation consisting of the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and the beastly Xbox One X, it should come as no surprise that there is another one coming.

While Thurrott broke the rumor late last year, Windows Central has finally gotten more solid word of the Xbox Maverick – a disc-less version of the Xbox One S console, thanks to one of their sources.

XBOX Maverick

A Digital Future

Of course, Maverick is just a code name. The official name is supposedly the “Xbox One S All-Digital Edition”. Pre-orders are allegedly to start in April with the actual release coming early May. That, and this may even be a global console launch as opposed to a regional one.

This would be the first console to be rid of any insertable piece of game content. However, for those paying attention, this version of Microsoft’s console could have been predicted.

To start, the company has been pushing digital content all generation. Game Pass, Xbox’s “Netflix for games,” has been a big selling point, with all first-party games launching on the service. Microsoft is also looking to take Game Pass to other consoles such as the Nintendo Switch. It is believed that they’ll do so with Project xCloud – a streaming service that enables instantaneous game playing on any device.

That said, we don’t know if the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will come with any other improvements. It’s possible that Microsoft could introduce a couple of new features alongside the digital push.

In typical Microsoft fashion, those with physical libraries don’t need to worry. The company will offer a “disc-to-digital” exchange program for users to trade in their hard copies for a digital download code via any Microsoft store. It is also rumored that an Xbox One S Slim will be coming as well, though one featuring a disk-drive as to not alienate an entire part of their audience.

Of course, losing the disc drive means losing 4K Blu-ray support. But digital gamers do enjoy instant refunds and game pre-loading.

Considering Them All

Microsoft may also have a Fortnite version of the Xbox console. Though we don’t know if it’s in X, S, or All-Digital format. It’s possible we’ll see a Fortnite rendering of all three, since the company tends to consider all of their customers.

Sources expect this All Digital console to cost around $200 or even less, furthering Microsoft’s mission of making gaming accessible to all.

All things considered, nobody knows if this disc-less approach will continue with the next generation of Xbox console. With rumored names like Anaconda and Lockhart, all of these devices will be under the “Scarlett” family branding. Essentially, the company won’t be forcing anyone to upgrade their hardware. The focus on cloud streaming seems to echo that.

Under Phil Spencer, the Xbox branding has really taken a turn around since the start of this generation in 2013. Following a botched reveal, Spencer has gained the favor of this industry by introducing a myriad of new concepts. Cross-platform play, Game Pass, backward compatibility, and more were all brought on by him. Plus, Microsoft has acquired top-tier studios such as Obsidian Games (Pillars of Eternity), inXile Entertainment (Wasteland), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), and even opened a few of their own.

The future is bright for Xbox and its fans. These next few years will be a true test for the brand. Microsoft already screwed up one console launch. The games industry will not take lightly to another flop.

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Posted by Max Moeller

Blockchain/cryptocurrency and gaming journalist. I've been a gamer for as long as I could hold a controller. When not playing or creating gaming content I'm always out looking for a new spot to eat.


max@parameter.io
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