Disc-less Xbox One S All-Digital Edition released: What to know

Microsoft launched a digital-only version of its flagship Xbox One gaming console on Tuesday, which operates through game downloads rather than a traditional disc-drive format.

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The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition has a 1 TB hard drive and costs $249.99, roughly $50 below the price point of a current Xbox One S with a disc drive. The disc-less console comes “bundled” with pre-loaded copies of Minecraft, Forza Horizon and Sea of Thieves, and gamers can build out the rest of their libraries via digital downloads.

“We realize price plays an important role in providing the opportunity to make console gaming more accessible to more gamers around the world. … the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is $50 USD less than Xbox One S, and we expect to maintain at least that price difference between the two consoles going forward,” Microsoft said in a blog post announcing the console in April.

The console launches as Microsoft and other top companies active in the gaming industry shift toward streaming and digital formats. Microsoft said the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition comes with a “special offer” to sign up for Xbox Game Pass, a subscription services that provides access to dozens of games for a monthly fee.

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Microsoft is also developing Project xCloud, a game streaming service that it said will complement, rather than replace, gaming consoles. More details are expected later this year. Meanwhile, tech rival Google announced Stadia, its own streaming service, in March, with a launch expected later in 2019.

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The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will be capable of 4K HDR streaming through platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The console is available for purchase through Microsoft as well as retail partners that include Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon.