Mere days after the news that Sony would be absent entirely from next year’s E3 — both within the event itself and around the general Los Angeles area in the same way the likes of EA, Ubisoft and Bethesda hold their own annual conferences — sources familiar with Microsoft’s future plans (as Thurrott reports) have claimed that the company is planning to unveil and subsequently release an updated model of the Xbox One sometime next year. What’s more, this iteration will not include a disc drive and is described as “digital only”, coming in at around $100 cheaper than the current Xbox One S.
However, for those who still prefer physical/retail versions, it is rumored that Microsoft, to coincide with this announcement, will unveil a “disc-to-digital” program that exchanges physical discs for downloads of said game, at participating retailers. It’s unclear though if this program comes at no extra cost or will in fact require a small fee.
What’s important to note though is that this alleged console will simply be a reimagining of the company’s current-generation Xbox One model and will not be the next-gen Project Scarlett — the name for the next Xbox console to compete against the similarly-speculative PS5. Sources also claim that Microsoft are still undecided on whether Scarlett will in fact include a disc drive or not — perhaps using the rumored upcoming Xbox One model as a testing ground for whether consumers will take to a purely digital-only console.