Xbox One Was Almost a Digital Only Console

Fri, 01/03/2014 - 03:22 -- RLWaterman

Digital downloads have become big business in recent years, with services such as Steam offering multitudes of titles available for purchase and download immediately. Both Microsoft and Sony also have services that allow gamers to access some game titles immediately, however they have also continued to provide games on Blu-Ray disc with both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.

We did question whether the Xbox One, with its desire to revolutionize the world of couch-based entertainment, might choose to opt for a digital only strategy, and according to a new statement from the boss of Microsoft Studios, Phil Spencer, that was nearly the case:

“Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change. There was a real discussion about whether we should have an optical disc drive in Xbox One or if we could get away with a purely disc-less console.”

It’s an interesting idea, and one that we suspect consoles of the future may adopt, however Spencer explained that, “when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues.” With the enormous file size of next generation games this is hardly a surprise; it’s nice to have access to games instantly but users with slow connections would face download times of hours if not days.

Xbox One Was Almost a Digital Only ConsoleSpencer explained that “we decided - which I think was the right decision - to go with the Blu-ray drive and give the people an easy way to install a lot of content. From some of those original thoughts, you saw a lot of us really focusing on the digital ecosystem you see on other devices - thinking of and building around that."

Given the online community’s reaction to the prospect of a 24-hour online console that the Xbox One was initially reported as being, it’s not surprising that Microsoft decided to listen and continue to provide a physical media for the time being.

What do you think about digital only games consoles? Are they the future or will you always want a disc to go with your game?

Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 01/03/2014

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