The age of digital media in gaming is a rapidly increasing venture with both Xbox and PlayStation looking to bring their current and new consoles head first into this new wave of media distribution. Rumors have been circling that Microsoft will not be waiting for its new generation of Xbox consoles to try to go with full digital media when it comes to games.
There have been reports that Microsoft are indeed about to unveil a new Xbox One console as early as May that will feature no disk drive and will be digital media only. The console with code name Maverick could be going up for sale for under $200 in the United States and also may be called the Xbox One S digital edition. Do not be mistaken this is not the birth of a new generation of Xbox this console is part of the “One” family and is its current generation with the next generation of console being under a different code name Scarlett.
Digital Media Taking Over?
The aim for the new name being suggested is to not confuse consumers. With this console now hitting the selves Xbox will now have 4 different makes of the Xbox One console not to mention all the special editions that have been made for certain games such as Destiny. Reports suggest that May 2019 may be the time in which this console will launch with pre-orders coming possibly as soon as mid April. It is no surprise that Xbox is testing the landscape for this type of console with digital media on the whole rising very fast in all forms of entertainment and not just gaming. Rumors say that Microsoft will offer Xbox users who buy the console a disc to digital exchange which will give players a code to run there already owned games on this disk-less device.
Digital growth has played a big impact on the gaming industry for many years whether you personally like hard copies of games or not. In 2010 games sold through physical form was at 69% with 31% being digital downloads. However, in 2018 these figures were almost polar opposites with digital media being 79% of all gaming sales with 21% being physical copies but these stats also include mobile sales which are all digital which do mislead the figures slightly. Also in 2018 80% of games sold in the UK were digital versions which leads some gaming companies and experts to say that they expect the gaming industry to be fully digital by 2022. As for the structure of the disk-less consoles not having a disk drive, this could make Xbox consoles significantly smaller than previous versions. Disk trays in general do take up a very large percent of the structure of a console, but with removing this in an all digital console we may see consoles maybe even half the size of their current size which is very practical indeed.
With all this talk of digital media I may be scaring gamer’s who do still love their physical copies and for those people I come with some good news. Xbox is also planning to release yet another Xbox One console by the end of 2019 that will still have disk trays built-in. These consoles will be pretty much a barebones Xbox One consoles that you see near the end of a console generation to try to garner a few more users on this current generation before moving nearly all their attention to their project Scarlett consoles for possibly next year. This concept of selling another barebones console is also a way to get people to purchase Xbox game pass both with the Xbox One s digital edition and the barebones console later in the year to try to build subscription numbers for when they possibly go fully digital permanently after seeing how the digital edition performs this year. This is a smart move on Microsoft’s part, this digital edition console will let them see how well this project will be received before deciding to implement it permanently with the next generation of consoles.
Digital media is here to stay whether we like it or not. Personally I have all my games on digital forms because it is much more convenient for me and I want to embrace the digital media age. Some people will not accept this with open arms and will want to hang onto there physical copies of games and that is fine with me, but I feel just like with cartridges back in the 80’s and 90’s if we want gaming to evolve we will have to learn to evolve with it and accept change.
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