We’ve known for a while that Microsoft is working on an Xbox console that will not have a physical optical drive, but a new report says the console will come bundled with Microsoft gaming subscriptions at launch that would let gamers get into the action as soon as they plug in the device. The same source, Thurrott, which revealed details about Microsoft’s future Xbox consoles in the past, is out with a new report about the affordable console.
The cheaper Xbox will arrive in early 2019, and the console will be bundled with subscriptions right out of the box. When ordering, customers will have the option of purchasing both the console as well as Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions at once.
That way, the console will be ready to play games right out of the box. Gamers won’t have to buy physical copies of games, and they’ll have access to more than 100 titles directly from Microsoft. The report also says the next-gen high-end Xbox console, the “Scarlett,” may be bundled with subscription services when it arrives as well:
Imagine you go on Microsoft.com, select the disc-less console, then pick two years of Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass, pay the fee, and when the console arrives, it’s all set up with the service ready to go. This functionality should arrive next year and also be part of the Scarlett business model as well.
In the future, the cheap console will also work with the xCloud game streaming service that will let gamers play high-end titles on a variety of devices. Microsoft’s cloud will handle all the heavy lifting for xCloud gaming, allowing full games to be streamed to smartphones, PCs, and Xbox consoles. Xbox fans looking to buy high-end games without breaking the bank may be interested in pairing the cheap console with the future xCloud service.
That said, the report doesn’t mention any prices for the upcoming cheap Xbox console, the various bundles that might launch alongside the new hardware, or the forthcoming xCloud gaming service.
Right now, Microsoft offers gamers an Xbox All Access program that includes an Xbox One S or X console, a year of Xbox Live Gold and the new Xbox Game Pass. The program makes the Xbox even more affordable, as gamers end up paying a monthly fee for 24 months rather than buying the console outright.