Microsoft Confirms Cheaper, All-Digital Xbox Series X, Fresh Nail Strikes Coffin Of Physical Games

Microsoft Confirms Cheaper, All-Digital Xbox Series X, Fresh Nail Strikes Coffin Of Physical Games

The long-rumored all-digital Xbox Series X is real and coming this fall. It will be white, cheaper, and feature a 1TB SSD as Microsoft continues turning the page on physical games. The platform holder also announced updates to the existing consoles with alternate colors and storage sizes.

Editor’s note: Prices in this story reflect US pricing only, as I have not seen Australian pricing and dates come through just yet. Once we have them, I’ll write a full breakout and update you. — David.

Announced during today’s Xbox showcase, the all-digital Xbox Series X comes in “Robot White” and will be $US450 instead of the standard $US500 of its predecessor ,which included an optical-drive for playing game discs. Microsoft is also retiring the Carbon Black Series S it launched last year and replacing it with a white version, which essentially looks the same as the original Series S, just with a new 1TB SSD and a $US350 price point.

Finally, there’s a new Xbox Series X launching this year for $US600. That steep price tag lets you keep the disc drive and get a whole 2TB of storage as well, perfect for when you buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 later this year and still want to be able to download other games. This special edition variant also comes with a speckled paint job that evokes a “silver, grey, and green celestial effect representing thousands of games and millions of gamers playing on Xbox.” The controller will match.

Its hard to see in this pic, but we assure it’s very speckled. Image: Microsoft

Despite rumours continuing to swirl about Microsoft’s evolving multiplatform approach, with games like Starfield reportedly still being considered to come to rival consoles like PlayStation 5, the tech giant has maintained that it’s not giving up on its own line of gaming machines. In addition to these new SKUs, Microsoft has also promised it’s working on a new “next-gen” console to be revealed sometime in the future. The company has pitched it as the biggest leap ever in console technology, which some have speculated to mean it might be utilizing generative-AI to achieve those lofty claims.

But Microsoft isn’t selling nearly as many Xboxes as it had hoped for this console generation. With the PS5 reportedly outselling the Xbox Series machines 2:1, the majority of the current generation install base appears to be Series S, which means many players have already moved off of buying games physically. That, coupled with the subscription service push for Game Pass has led to anecdotal reports of minimal or nonexistent physical Xbox game sections at stores like Best Buy and Walmart, as well as first-party games like Hellblade 2 not getting physical releases to keep prices down.

It might make business sense for Microsoft, but it’s also a preservation nightmare for developers and fans. Fortunately, hit games that were digital-only releases, like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2, are still finding the time to eventually ship physical collectors’ editions.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *