While Sony has recently announced the insanely powerful next-gen iteration of their Playstation console, Microsoft has opted to release something on the other end of the spectrum. The Xbox One S All-Digital is Microsoft’s third version of the Xbox One console. While the name is certainly a mouthful, the price is not. The Xbox One S All-Digital is the cheapest Xbox One console; however, it achieves this price by omitting some features. So what exactly is the Xbox One S All-Digital console? Who is this console for? Read on to find out!
What Is the Xbox One S All-Digital?
The Xbox One S All-Digital looks almost identical to the Xbox One S, save for one major difference. As the name suggests, the Xbox One S All-Digital console fully embraces downloading and streaming content by completely omitting the disc drive. This means that you won’t be able to play games or watch movies from physical discs. A disc-free video game system is actually what Microsoft originally envisioned the Xbox One to be, and it certainly seems like it may be the future of console gaming. But should you adopt a disc-less system now? You’ll want to consider all the facts before you jump in.
The Xbox One S All-Digital is virtually identical to the Xbox One S. Both consoles feature the same processor; the 8-core Jaguar @ 1.75 GHz. Additionally, they both use the same amount of RAM; 8GB DDR3, as well as the same GPU.
Physically, both consoles look very similar, save for the fact that the All-Digital console doesn’t feature a disc drive slot on the front. Other than that small difference, the consoles share the same dimensions. However, due to the lack of a disc drive in the All-Digital, it weighs approximately 1 pound less than the Xbox One S. Finally, the Xbox One S All-Digital comes with a 1TB hard drive.
While the Xbox One S All-Digital doesn’t have the ability to play physical discs, it does retain the ability to play 4K content. Users will be able to stream 4K video with HDR, as well as enjoy Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio.
Removing the optical disc drive has allowed Microsoft to save a bit of money on manufacturing costs. Additionally, by deciding against altering the look of the console, Microsoft was able to save money on design and fabrication costs. Thankfully, they have decided to pass those savings on to the consumer, making the Xbox One S All-Digital the least expensive current generation console. The reported price at launch will be $250 (USD), $50 cheaper than the current asking price of the Xbox One S.
The Xbox One S All-Digital is the cheapest way to get into current generation console gaming. In addition, it comes with three popular games already pre-installed: Forza Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves and Minecraft, adding fairly significant value. Furthermore, it eliminates the need to swap game discs in and out of the system. It seems trivial, but in a world where convenience is king, having your entire game library ready to launch at the touch of a button is very attractive. With the Xbox One S All-Digital, gamers can say goodbye to ever having to get up off the couch again!
One of the biggest things consumers need to consider is whether they can truly do without physical game media. Without a disc drive, users will not be able to purchase used games, borrow games from friends, or install disc-based Xbox 360 games that are backwards compatible.
Furthermore, with an all-digital console, all games, applications and other media like movies and music have to be downloaded and installed on the internal hard drive. The Xbox One S All-Digital ships with only 1TB of storage space. This is a puzzling decision considering many of today’s games are huge. With many games clocking in at 50+ gigabytes, 1TB of storage space is going to run out pretty quick.
You may be thinking to yourself, well I don’t like to keep games indefinitely. Maybe you only stream media like movies and music. If so, you’re going to need fairly fast Internet speeds. Furthermore, many Internet service providers enforce data caps, so you’ll want to keep on eye on how much data you’re consuming. If you are an avid gamer and a big consumer of high-definition video, it’s very possible you’ll run over your allotted data and your ISP will throttle your speed.
Finally, the name is dumb and confusing. Why not call it the Xbox One DL (for disc-less)? Furthermore, while using the same design as the Xbox One S makes manufacturing cheaper, it comes across as lazy. The omission of a disc drive means that Microsoft could’ve scaled the Xbox One S All-Digital down even further, resulting in a much smaller machine. It’s another odd choice, especially considering that between the name and the look of the console, non-gamers will probably get confused as to which one is which.
The Bottom Line
Whether you opt for the Xbox One S All-Digital is going to depend largely on how you consume media. If you primarily stream video and acquire your games digitally, then ditching a disc drive won’t be a big deal.
That being said, the $50 difference isn’t a huge incentive. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see a standard Xbox One S retailing for $250. Granted it usually doesn’t come bundled with games at that price, but the additional functionality and flexibility afforded by a disc drive could easily surpass a $50 savings. Especially when you consider the money you’ll save by being able to pick up cheaper pre-owned games. That being said, if you’re new to the Xbox ecosystem and on a strict budget, you might want to consider the Xbox One S All-Digital. Just double-check you have the Internet speed and data necessary for an online-only console experience.
What do you think of the Xbox One S All-Digital? Will you be purchasing one when they come out on May 8th? Let us know in the comments!
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