Here we go, the first all-digital gaming console is here or rather will be, with the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.
Easily one of Microsoft’s worst kept secrets, this console kept popping up on everyone’s radar for the past few months. But now, Microsoft has made it official during today’s Inside Xbox episode. Releasing this May 7th, 2019, this Xbox One S sans optical drive will be priced at $249.99.
Outside of not including the optical drive, this variant will include a 1TB hard drive. It will also release with three free downloads; Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3 and Sea of Thieves. Now you might be asking why they decided to include the older Forza Horizon title instead of their latest and greatest. Which makes me believe they want to push Xbox Game Pass as much as possible, which happens to include Forza Horizon 4.
To be perfectly honest, I feel Microsoft missed a good chance to sell a good chunk of these with the announced pricing. Sure, it’s $50 dollars cheaper than an Xbox One S, but it’s missing one very important part. And while Microsoft feels an all-digital console is a good thing, I don’t think we’re quite ready for one. Not to mention that the Xbox One S dips under the $299.99 price fairly often and it does include a disc drive. Which is important for those who still want to watch optical media formats, such as Blu-rays and DVDs.
Still, I’m sure the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will attract more than a few eyes.
Speaking of Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft also announced that Xbox Gold and Xbox Game Pass have finally merged with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Pay $14.99 and get access to both services, which is a $5 savings. Gain access to hundreds of games and Xbox Live sounds like a win to me. For now, this is limited to a select few in the Xbox Insider community. While the new service will be available later this year.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is an amazing offering and many have been asking Microsoft to do this previously. I was expecting this to be priced higher ($19.99), but at $14.99, that’s the sweet spot. Even better is if you already have Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Gold, you’ll be able to jump in at a prorated rate.