Xbox One coined as ‘disc-less’ console for some time, Spencer reveals

Thursday, 2nd January 2014 10:56 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One was originally conceived as a digital-only console, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has revealed. It wasn’t until relatively recently that the optical drive was finalised.

Speaking with OXM, Spencer revealed that the notion of a disc-less Xbox One console was on the table until the middle of last year, but was subsequently dropped following Microsoft’s reveal.

He added, “Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change. There was a real discussion about whether we should have an optical disc drive in Xbox One or if we could get away with a purely disc-less console, but when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues.

“So we decided – which I think was the right decision – to go with the Blu-ray drive and give the people an easy way to install a lot of content. From some of those original thoughts, you saw a lot of us really focusing on the digital ecosystem you see on other devices – thinking of and building around that.”

Do you agree that discs are still the way to go for now, or would you like to see a purely digital machine at some point? Let us know below.



  1. Fin

    Public aren’t ready for it. The next-next gen, probably.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. tenthousandgothsonacid

    There’s a lot of people like me who wouldn’t buy a console if you couldn’t do game trade-ins.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. mongbatstar

    This is dumb. A media entertainment unit which wouldn’t play music CD’s, DVD’s or BluRay?

    #3 12 months ago
  4. Hcw87

    Currently the convenience of Digital far exceeds physical discs. Being able to just switch games in a matter of seconds is a huge convenience. A digital only console would also (hopefully) mean cheaper games, as they would completely avoid having to print discs/covers/manuals. I wish the current digital titles on consoles were cheaper though, so far they have a long way to go to match PC digital prices.

    It’s 2013, you can stream EVERYTHING these days. The only BluRays i buy are completely new movies that haven’t released on a streaming service yet.

    People who still buy music CD’s needs to wake the hell up.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Bomba Luigi

    @4: “People who still buy music CD’s needs to wake the hell up.”

    Why? Theres Room enough for diffrent Ways of consuming these Things. Its not like everybody has to consume everything the same way, as long as there are People who want CDs and Buy CDs there will be CDs.

    Hell, even LPs are still around and theres nothing wrong with that.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. naffgeek

    @4 “People who still buy music CD’s needs to wake the hell up.”

    shit you’re right, what was I thinking…I should get a new car stereo too as mine only plays cd’s….

    and my home stereo too…

    thank fuck I have someone like you to tell me how to consume my media!

    #6 12 months ago
  7. Panthro


    I agree, physical media is bullshit and everybody who uses it is an absolute moron…

    ^ Sarcasm.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. ddtd

    @4 – PC pricing isn’t that much different. New releases are still sold between $50-$60. It’s the sales on older titles where platforms like Steam and GOG have consoles beat. However, on the new consoles the publishers set the prices now (at least on the X1) so I imagine we’ll see Steam-like pricing once the X1 and PS4′s digital libraries grow.

    #8 12 months ago
  9. xxJPRACERxx

    I have about 300 movies/TV series on Bluray and continue to get them because there’s no streaming service that stream at 30+ mbps.

    I don’t care to get games physically or digitally because bits are bits, it’s the same thing. But for movies, Bluray image and sound quality is still much better than any streaming service.

    And there’s selection. Netflix in Canada don’t have movies of Kubrick or Hitchcock or HBO series like Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. DuckOfDestiny

    When download services like Itunes or Amazon start allowing you to download high bitrate, uncompressed, lossless music files, then there will no longer be a need for CDs.

    Until then, other than ripping them from the CDs yourself, the only other option is torrents.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. SlayerGT

    It should have been..and 200 bucks cheaper.

    #11 12 months ago
  12. Cobra951

    The best official, legitimate way to get keeper movies right now is still BluRay disc. Enormous games are also best acquired on disc. Downloading dozens of GB every time I want to reinstall a game I had to uninstall to make room for others? No thanks. And I don’t even have the issue of download caps. Many people worldwide have to deal with limited bandwidth and ridiculous monthly caps, or even worse service, like pay per GB. In the current real world, discs still make a lot of sense. No way would I buy a console without one in 2014. Let’s discuss this again next gen, 5 years or whatever down the road. If utopian-perfect broadband is everywhere, then maybe we can all go discless.

    #12 12 months ago
  13. bradk825

    Most “Keepers” for me are going to be downloaded titles from now on, I like it much better. But games that I plan to play for a bit then get rid of I’ll be buying on disc.

    I bought AC4 by digital download and it’s been nice to be able to switch to and from it so easy.

    #13 12 months ago
  14. fearmonkey

    They did the right thing adding the Blu-ray drive for movies and games, but did the wrong thing forcing Kinect down our throats, and keeping the price at $499.

    I would still rather go out and buy a game rather than download it to my HD. If we Had steam like prices, then things would be different. I buy a ton of Steam games every sale but it’s because they are so cheap. If I am going to pay $60 for a game, I would rather have the disc and case. I have only bought one full price game on Steam ever, and thats because I was gifted the money for a holiday/birthday.

    I just cannot see paying the same price for less stuff. Digital might be the future but the prices must drop accordingly. Let’s face facts, MS has never been known for their great prices on XBL.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. OneLifeCycle

    Hey look! A bad idea MS recognized and changed BEFORE release!


    #15 12 months ago
  16. OneLifeCycle

    Disc all the way! Why pay the same price for digital? They desperately need to revisit their pricing in that regard. I’d rather pay the same price and have the physical media than to pay the same price and have digital media.

    #16 12 months ago
  17. antraxsuicide

    Talk about dinosaurs…

    If utopian-perfect reception is everywhere, then we’ll be using smartphones.

    See how dumb that sounds? Broadband is perfectly good for downloading GB of data in most major countries. And those of us in these major countries shouldn’t be restricted by those who aren’t.

    On the subject of disc-less consoles, I see MS releasing a disc-less X1 in 2016 at the latest. It’ll be $199, and subsidized by your cable or ISP.

    Make no mistake, cable companies HATE paying for cable boxes. People only pay about $10 a month to use them, which means it takes about 2 years to pay off the box. And that’s if they don’t get broken in that time. Then they have to replace it for way less than it costs. If they can just use the X1 as a cable box, and get customers to just buy the thing themselves, they’ll definitely help cut the price down to do it. So we can expect MS to eat $100 and cable/ISPs to eat another $100, and we’ll be seeing a $300 X1 as soon as 2015.

    Take out the disc-drive and it’ll be $199 by 2016, and it’ll be heavily advertised by DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, Time Warner, etc….

    #17 12 months ago
  18. Doppleganger

    Another reason why Im disappointed about how dumb ass consumers destroyed the xbox one. The console should have stayed the way it was originally gonna be and it would have been smaller faster and cheaper.
    I own Forza, Ryse and Battlefield which are all digital copies. Im pretty sure in a couple of years they will make a new digital model which will be smaller and cheaper, which I would love to trade for if the PS4 doesn’t end up destroying the Xbox by than.

    #18 12 months ago
  19. Major Mayhem 70

    People kill me when they say things like “MS is forcing the Kinect down our throats” or “MS is forcing us to pay $100 more than its competitor”. If the X1 was the only console on the market, then I would say that they are forcing something down our throat. We have choices, and it seems to me many have decided on the PS4. If you don’t share MS vision, go with the PS4. Nobody is forcing anything on the consumer. Kinect is a part of the X1. That’s what MS envisioned and that’s the reason for the $100 difference.

    #19 12 months ago

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