Microsoft have revealed that they considered making the recently released Xbox One download and digital only.
When discussing with OXM Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer mentioned that even as far as recently as E3 2013 conversations had been taking place to see if they could realistically “get away with” removing the disc drive from the machine and inevitably reduce their overall manufacturing costs whilst additionally locking in content digitally to a specific machine and further helping privacy prevention methods.
Of course as anyone with an Xbox One will know, the console does indeed have a Blu-Ray disc drive, Phil Spencer notes that “When you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does cause issues”. Given the size of the current generation titles often being around 40gb anyone with a limited bandwidth or slow net connection will of indeed spent a lot of time waiting to download their titles.
Given the mention of E3 it’s hard not to feel that had the reception to the Xbox Ones original DRM and always online functionality policies been received more positively that we’d likely have been looking at our first fully digital home console. Yet I certainly feel that although a brave move it really would of been a nail in the coffin for the Xbox One and Microsoft made the right decision to keep the disc drive and avoid alienating a large amount of it’s consumer base.
What would you think to a fully digital home console? Would you feel that you lost true ownership of your games without their physical counterparts or would you appreciate the ease and fluidity of getting a game whenever you wanted?
Ben Corbett-Mills / @benleopards