Microsoft Considered A Disc Drive Free Xbox One

So the Xbox One nearly had no disc drive... Find out my thoughts on if this plan went ahead.

At the E3 conference in 2013, Microsoft had discussions to remove the disc drive from the Xbox One after their second reveal. So, apparently after receiving criticism about their "always online" plan and DRM plans, they wanted even more. They decided to keep the disc drive, as having a purely digital based console would cause strain on the bandwidth and the size of the games.

What If They Had Gone Ahead With This Plan?

It would mean more of our brick and mortar stores dying from a lack of customers wanting the next-gen console and their games. It would mean that every single customer would have to buy their content from the Xbox Live Store. It would mean you couldn't play music or watch a DVD, nevermind watch a Blu-ray DVD. Would it also mean that their "always online" plan would have to be enforced too?

I want to take that first point and elaborate on it. High street stores such as GAME Ltd have already struggled these past years with the recent recession and a surge in online shopping on websites such as Amazon and eBay. In March 2012, the company went into administration, but stabilized months later.

Now only around 328 stores remain open out of their 607, but imagine how things would be now if the disc-free Xbox One plan went ahead. Sure, they would be getting the sales from the actual consoles themselves, and selling codes to add money to your 'Xbox Wallet', but would they be getting a profit from this?

Each retail disc-based game for next-gen consoles are either £54.99 or £59.99. That is a maximum £10.00 profit over the price of the game on the Xbox Store. As stated earlier, they could sell codes for your 'Xbox Wallet' for amounts of £10, £20 and so on, but how much profit would they make from this as supposed to a selling a game for its recommended retail price?

My View On This

In all honesty, I wouldn't have minded if the Xbox One didn't have a disc drive, but I'm glad that it does. Yeah, I do like just saying "Xbox, go to Fifa 14," and the game being loaded instantly, but I prefer to have a physical copy of the game. It's just part of the collector inside of me. I also like to support my high street stores--especially specialised game stores. You're able to talk to people in there and learn their views on a subject or game. 

For people who prefer digital downloads, the option is there for you. You can act like the Xbox One does not have a disc drive and buy your games from the store, or rent and buy movies from the store. The choice is there. Microsoft just left it up to the player to decide.

Would the missing disc drive have affected you at all? Maybe you like the idea of a disc drive free Xbox One? Let me know in the comment section below. 

Featured Contributor

Hi there. My name is Liam. I'm a uni student in Weston-Super Mare, UK studying Applied Computing. I love JRPGs and the like. I'm also an avid achievement hunter.

Platforms Xbox One
Published Jan. 3rd 2014
  • David_9562
    I actually glad they abandoned this plan. I like having the option of having the physical copy, not to mention, my current Xbox 360 is my DVD Player which I had been planning on upgrading to a XBox One. Had the Disc drive been removed I'd have been out of luck as my Xbox is begining to show its age and starting to run funny. (I got mine back in "2006")
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    It definitely would have been a bad idea to go with no disc tray just because of how huge a part of media discs are right now.

    Will discs die out? HELL YES, soon in fact. Right now, no. The way to snuff out discs all together is solid state and cloud storage. Taking away the disc tray in the generation that follows this would make complete sense, we have internet services improving constantly and we are able to fit more and more information on tiny chips in usb drives and such. Soon (or maybe at least before we die) the idea of a physical media will either be completely obsolete or integrated with existing systems that we already use such as... brace yourself. Your phone!

    Your phone is with you at all times and is very rapidly approaching a absolute full coverage, so long as you are on the planet earth. Soon terabyte drives and even past that will be stored right in your pocket. There is no reason at all that your phone couldn't house every single bit of information about you including your credit card information, your account information about everything, which would include all of your gaming accounts. Shit, why am I even listing all these out, it's already a reality. It's just not quite fine tuned enough to be fully functional in every single sense.

    Anyway what I'm getting at is technology up to this point has been furthering itself in physical storage devices. We started with computers that took up enormous rooms, then punch cards, vinyl records, floppy discs, regular discs, now blu-rays and finally usb drives, phones, mobile devices in general. We are at the breaking point of the idea of a physical medium and it is very rapidly being replaces by the cloud. We have to sit back and accept it. Why would companies continue to put money down on the actual physical mediums themselves when they can just put the file itself in ONE server in ONE place and have it supply every customer on the planet in seconds. It just makes sense.

    Edit* I realize now I just wrote a book :P sorry, I love this topic. Yeah future!

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