The Xbox One successor codenamed Scarlett may not sport a disc drive. It seems that Microsoft is weighing its options and deciding if Xbox Scarlett should support physical media or not according to those familiar with Microsoft's plans. If true, it could end up being yet another step towards the erosion of consumer rights from a company that thought it would be a good idea to launch the Xbox One as an always online console. Hopefully common sense would prevail.
According to sources speaking to Xbox insider Brad Sams, "Microsoft is still trying to decide if that console will include a disc drive but should be making the final decision here shortly."
Microsoft is building a traditional console "that you would expect from the Xbox brand." Which is an amusing way of framing it when you consider that the Xbox One despite multiple updates pretty much demands you to be online though Sams speculates that it's for "those who prefer to have all their hardware locally". This isn't all, there will be a dedicated streaming console too which will work in sync with its upcoming game streaming service that's currently being referred to as Scarlett Cloud, which is possibly now Project xCloud.
While the specs on the first console are yet to be nailed down as its still early in development, the streaming box will be lower-powered featuring a limited amount of power for controller input, image processing, and collision detection. This suggests that more hardware would be needed locally resulting in a high price albeit not as much as what a new next-generation console would cost allowing for an expanded reach. This device is further ahead in development and like the first console is slated for a 2020 release date.
It would be interesting to see how this works out. Microsoft, like Sony and Nintendo doesn't make much money on hardware sales. A bulk of revenue comes from game sales and in the case of Sony and Microsoft, subscription services. Having a lower cost console could allow for greater accessibility.
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