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A new era dawns - disc-free Xbox is here

17th May 2019

A new era of gaming has begun with the arrival of the disc-free Xbox One S All-Digital.

Microsoft has opted to remove the Blu-ray disc drive altogether from the latest release of its legendary console.

That means, of course, all games and content need to be paid for and downloaded straight from the internet, rather than buying a hard copy.

In truth, it isn't a massive shift from the way a lot of people purchase games already - buy the code and then download.

But it is a notable move which is surely the next step towards what will ultimately be a disc-free world. In today's climate of super-fast broadband and streaming everything from films to music, it seems almost inevitable that those shiny plastic discs will be consigned to history alongside the cassettes of yesteryear.

This isn't going to be for everyone straight away. Those with a large collection of games on discs won't be swayed as there is no way to play them on the Xbox One S All-Digital. People who use their console to play Blu-ray movies might find it frustrating, too.

It's also perhaps a little strange that the Xbox One S disc-free option is exactly the same size as the original One S with a disc drive. Wouldn't it have been nice to have it a bit smaller for the mantelpiece?

Cynics will say that this is Microsoft's way of eliminating the secondary market. They don't, after all, make a penny from games sold on eBay.

But - and this will be the deciding factor for many - the new 1TB disc-free console has been launched with the expectation that it will be cheaper than the traditional Blu-ray consoles.

And for those people who are already fully immersed in an online world, that makes it the sensible choice.

Going all-digital means that your games travel with you - and they're also available on the cloud.
There is also the ability to pre-order and pre-install upcoming games, so you're ready to play the moment they launch, without having to await the arrival of the delivery man.

The console's HDR technology improves the contrast and range of colours in your games, so they look more vibrant than ever. You just need a HDR-enabled TV to enjoy the full benefit.

The Xbox One S All Digital comes bundled with Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3 installed and ready to play for less than £200.

Ready to fully embrace the digital revolution? Click here

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