Xbox to release new model with no disk-drive in major shift away from physical sales

Microsoft is understood to be planning the release of a new Xbox with no disk drive, potentially representing one of the final nails in the coffin for physical game sales.

Windows Central confirmed rumours which have been circling for months, stating that a new “Xbox One S All-Digital Edition” will be available for pre-orders as early as next month, to be rolled out officially in May.

Details of the new console code-named the “Xbox Maverick” emerged last November, and it is understood that it will retail for a cheaper price than the Xbox One S.

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It is also thought that there will be an option to buy the console with games pre-installed, and will be geared towards Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service which provides access to over 100 games.

This comes amid a dramatic shift away from physical game purchases, towards digital downloads and even game streaming services.

Digital gaming sales rose 12.5 per cent in 2018, while digital sales across all entertainment retail categories including video and music accounted for 76.1 per cent of the total, according to the latest figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

Despite this, £765m was spent on console games in 2018, a decline of just 2.8 per cent year-on-year, making it the largest physical format segment across the music, video and games categories.

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