Tuesday, November 20th 2018

Microsoft Works On Xbox Without Optical Disc Drive

Microsoft is working on the first major game console to lack physical game media, targeted at markets where downloaded content is prevalent. The console could be a variant of the existing Xbox One / Xbox One S, but will be slightly cheaper for lacking the roughly-$25 optical drive. For those stuck with physical copies of games, Microsoft could roll out a "disc-to-digital" programme that converts your physical disc ownership to a digital ownership.

The way "disc-to-digital" works is you take your physical games to a participating brick-and-mortar retailer, who will verify that the disc is authentic (you probably wouldn't need to provide proof of purchase). Once a disc is deemed authentic, the authorised retailer will keep the physical copy in exchange to adding the game to your Xbox account. To play the game, simply download it to your console's hard drive and play. You can also download to external USB storage devices if your hard drive runs out of space. For some regions, there could even be "mail-in" services. Microsoft could target very specific markets with the console, in which Internet access is both affordable and fast, and in which there already are many customers with large digital libraries. The company is unlikely to stop selling consoles with optical drives, but those will be slightly pricier.
Source: Thurott
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28 Comments on Microsoft Works On Xbox Without Optical Disc Drive

#1
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I wonder if they'll offer it in the USA. I might be tempted to get it as a media streaming device. Xbox One S is so much better than SHIELD.
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#2
Rahnak
FordGT90Concept, post: 3945671, member: 60463"
I wonder if they'll offer it in the USA. I might be tempted to get it as a media streaming device. Xbox One S is so much better than SHIELD.
How so? It's bigger and noisier. Doesn't the Shield have more than enough power for streaming?


That said, I think this is a good move, especially if it makes the console cheaper. If given a choice, I go for digital downloads on my PS4 just so I don't have to hear that blu-ray drive spinning (among a few other reasons).
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#3
kastriot
Well i guess it's time to say farewell to ODD anyway :)
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#4
Ferrum Master
Imho games should start to sell on some sort of write protected USB flash drive and thats it.
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#5
bonehead123
Ferrum Master, post: 3945702, member: 90058"
Imho games should start to sell on some sort of write protected USB flash drive and thats it.
No, 'cause then they will want to start jackin you for some outrageous price for the drive in addition to the price of the game....and also then someone will figure out a way to hack the write protection, and we will see another way to pirate the content and well, you know where this leads......

go with downloads only or get the F out.....

ODD's are sooooo 2004-ish anyways
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#6
Ferrum Master
bonehead123, post: 3945707, member: 139670"
No, 'cause then they will want to start jackin you for some outrageous price for the drive in addition to the price of the game....and also then someone will figure out a way to hack the write protection, and we will see another way to pirate the content and well, you know where this leads......

go with downloads only or get the F out.....

ODD's are sooooo 2004-ish anyways
Cheap drives while mass produced cost peanuts for those speeds... for those who have crap net speeds it would be a fine thing. Security is not an issue also.

Let me correct also... ODD's are so 1980-ish actually.
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#7
TheinsanegamerN
kastriot, post: 3945700, member: 165334"
Well i guess it's time to say farewell to ODD anyway :)
*looks at 250GB data cap*
*looks at 50Mbps download speed*

*looks at 50+GB game patches and 100GB game installs*

Yeah lets not, or at least, make game devs compress their games again FFS.
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#8
iO
Farewell cheap used games and welcome DRM.
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#9
TheinsanegamerN
iO, post: 3945731, member: 107457"
Farewell cheap used games and welcome DRM.
What, you dont like paying $60 for a three year old game you will only play for 4 hours?
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#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Ferrum Master, post: 3945702, member: 90058"
Imho games should start to sell on some sort of write protected USB flash drive and thats it.
Even with the most favorable volume pricing, flash drives are a lot pricier than a bunch of optical discs.

The bill of materials for a 50 GB game copy (doesn't include the cost of producing the game/content itself):
  • 1x BD: $0.5 for the disc, $0.25 for the hard case = ~$0.75.
  • 1x 64 GB flash drive: $5
  • Download: Negligible, ~$0.05 per download for a company with its own datacenter and bandwidth.
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#12
bonehead123
Ferrum Master, post: 3945715, member: 90058"
Let me correct also... ODD's are so 1980-ish actually.
Trudat !

but I was kinda makin a jestful reminder of when (~2004) a certain fruity company FINALLY realized they screwed up by not including ODD's with their rigs and were almost left in the dust of the "just burn it to CD and give me a copy" craze that was in it's heyday at that point in time :)

sorry if that got lost in the translation :)
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#13
Octavean
The money saved on optical drives could easily be offset by needing larger storage in the gaming console.

While I wouldn't necessarily care to turn in my games for digital versions, I could see doing so under a specific set of circumstances.

1) The disc can be verified as original even after it had been damaged or unserviceable. In which case I would prefer to get rid of a nonfunctional game disc for a digital version.

2) Digital versions of game discs became cross platform and thus usable on the successor of the Xbox One.

However, since this is so convenient for the user and would save the user a fair bit of money there is no way in hell this would happen.
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#14
nickbaldwin86
Start putting games on thumb drives... been saying this for years! optical disc are moving parts... moving parts fail!!!!
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#15
TheinsanegamerN
nickbaldwin86, post: 3945820, member: 99503"
Start putting games on thumb drives... been saying this for years! optical disc are moving parts... moving parts fail!!!!
Thumb drives are a LOT more expensive then optical disks, even in bulk. Go price out a 100GB flash drive. Be prepared to pay even more for your games!

Moving parts can be replaced. a disk drive can be replaced easily enough, the bigger issue is the fragile nature of optical media, which blu ray improved on, but still.
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#16
lexluthermiester
I'm not a fan of Xbox as it is and this is one more reason to guaranty me not buying it. Physical media is the primary way this house plays games and movies. No Thank You Microsoft.
FordGT90Concept, post: 3945671, member: 60463"
I might be tempted to get it as a media streaming device. Xbox One S is so much better than SHIELD.
Why would you spend $400 on a streaming device?
Rahnak, post: 3945677, member: 172195"
Doesn't the Shield have more than enough power for streaming?
Yes it does. I have one and love it. Didn't buy it for the streaming, but its does UHD60 very well.
Ferrum Master, post: 3945715, member: 90058"
Let me correct also... ODD's are so 1980-ish actually.
That's like saying the car is sooo 1900's. Yet we still refine the concept and make cars today, over 100 years later. Just because the technology isn't new doesn't mean it's useless.
TheinsanegamerN, post: 3945728, member: 127292"
*looks at 250GB data cap**looks at 50Mbps download speed**looks at 50+GB game patches and 100GB game installs*
Yeah lets not, or at least, make game devs compress their games again FFS.
And that is a similar problem for lots of people all over the world.
iO, post: 3945731, member: 107457"
Farewell cheap used games and welcome DRM.
This is the real reason Microsoft is doing this. Control. They want to control everything. The naive gaming public is sucking up. Sheep to be fleeced..
nickbaldwin86, post: 3945820, member: 99503"
optical disc are moving parts... moving parts fail!!!!
I still have my original TurboDuo(the TubroGrafx16+CD addon) as well as my SegaCDX and both CD drives still work perfectly. I've had to do a cap replacement on the CDX and that's not a moving part. Your argument has no logic as many variables can factor into a failure of parts within a device.
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
lexluthermiester, post: 3945887, member: 134537"
Why would you spend $400 on a streaming device?
They're both about $200. They support MPEG2 (aka DVD), MPEG4 (aka h.264), HEVC (aka h.265), HDR, and 4K without hitching/bitching. Cheap streaming devices...can't decode much faster than 3 mbps before they start dropping frames. That's fine with h.264 mobile profile or HEVC but it's a train wreck with h.264 heavy profile (6 mbps) or MPEG2 (20 mbps).
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#18
Octavean
The original Xbox One (which I have) doesn't support HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 so i can't do 4K at 60Hz rather only 4K at 30Hz.

Its technically not a truism to simply refer to the XBox One as a 4K streaming box without making exceptions for the older version.
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#19
lexluthermiester
FordGT90Concept, post: 3945935, member: 60463"
They're both about $200.
My Shield was $150 new and the Xbox One is $200 for the old model. The new one certainly would not be.
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#20
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Octavean, post: 3945974, member: 52351"
The original Xbox One (which I have) doesn't support HDMI 2.0 / HDCP 2.2 so i can't do 4K at 60Hz rather only 4K at 30Hz.

Its technically not a truism to simply refer to the XBox One as a 4K streaming box without making exceptions for the older version.
*cough*
FordGT90Concept, post: 3945671, member: 60463"
Xbox One S is so much better than SHIELD.
Both were purchased in 2017. SHIELD is a 2017 model where Xbox One S is a 2016 model.

lexluthermiester, post: 3945977, member: 134537"
My Shield was $150 new and the Xbox One is $200 for the old model. The new one certainly would not be.
Techinically SHIELD TV goes for $199 where the Xbox One S (has HDMI 2.0) was purchased for $225 (now $200). Xbox One S is able to play BD-DVD and came with Minecraft so the $25 difference is more than made up for with added value.

Xbox One X (has HDMI 2.0b)? Yeah, much, much, much more expensive ($400ish) and ridiculously overkill as a streaming device.
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#21
lexluthermiester
FordGT90Concept, post: 3945988, member: 60463"
Techinically SHIELD TV goes for $199
Ah ok. That's if you buy the one with NVidia's controller. I have my own controllers(8bitdo) and prefer them so;
https://www.amazon.com/NVIDIA-Shield-Streaming-Media-Player/dp/B075RXV2VR
Any bluetooth or USB controller will work. You're right, if you include the controller it's $200.
FordGT90Concept, post: 3945988, member: 60463"
Xbox One X (has HDMI 2.0b)? Yeah, much, much, much more expensive ($400ish) and ridiculously overkill as a streaming device.
And that is what this new version will be based on.
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#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
lexluthermiester, post: 3946000, member: 134537"
And that is what this new version will be based on.
Nope:
btarunr, post: 3945661, member: 43587"
The console could be a variant of the existing Xbox One / Xbox One S, but will be slightly cheaper for lacking the roughly-$25 optical drive.
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#23
lexluthermiester
FordGT90Concept, post: 3946023, member: 60463"
Nope:
Oops, must have missed that. And why bother? If it's not going to be based on current hardware it's a bit of a wasted effort.
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#24
TheGuruStud
I have dozens of i7 PCs if people are gonna blow money on a worthless streaming device lol. Come get em :P
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#25
Jism
I remember a video from someone, warning out the very near future of 'tech'. We are switching from having an actual product, box, CD-Rom and all that, to a service model which offers montly subscriptions and so on. All made to maximize a company's profit and you being the product.

MS is drunk.
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