A cheaper Xbox One? Microsoft may be prepping a disc-less Xbox update

RTC The video game world may be waiting on news on Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation video game efforts, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft is done with releasing updates to the Xbox One. 

After a report last year from Microsoft watcher Brad Sams detailed Microsoft’s plans to release a disc-less Xbox One console in 2019, a new report Tuesday gave us an update.

According to Windows Central, the new console will be a version of the Xbox One S and will arrive shortly, with pre-orders starting in “mid-April” before a wide release in May. 

The new console, which has the codename of “Xbox Maverick,” will rely on digital downloads and Microsoft’s services like Game Pass, a $9.99 per month subscription that grants players the ability to play from over 100 games including “Rocket League,” the “Halo” series and “Gears of War 4.”

Current Xbox One consoles feature Blu-ray disc drives for the ability to play games off of a physical disc. Prior versions of the Xbox used DVD drives for playing games off of discs. 

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In a statement provided to USA TODAY, a Microsoft spokesperson said that the company does not comment “on rumors or speculation.” 

Nearly all new games are released digitally in Microsoft’s Xbox store. Some of the most popular games of the past year, such as “Fortnite” and “Apex Legends,” never received physical releases and are digital only.    

While it is unclear how much the new console will cost, both reports expect the disc-less system could make the new model even cheaper than the current Xbox One S which can now be found for between $200 and $250. 

Sams’ report last year detailed a “disc-to-digital” program that would allow those with physical copies of games to take them into a store and swap them for digital download codes, which could make the new console more interesting to current gamers in need of a faster system, but don’t want to pay several hundred dollars with the next generation Xbox rumored to be right around the corner. 

Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal

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