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Rumours are creating a lot of discussions around what was previously codenamed an upcoming Xbox One Maverick console.  A new name and preorder date have surfaced.

Meet the new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition:

xbox-one-discless-console.jpg?itok=yTpkQchl

While we can't 100% confirm this name is final, players have been quick to abbreviate it this SAD console and jeer Microsoft's marketing department for this seeming oversight.

Preorders for this console are anticipated to begin in April 2019.  No information about specs is available at this time, but we assume it will be very similar to existing Xbox One S hardware, perhaps with revised cooling and obviously no optical drive. 

Perhaps the in-built storage specifications are increased significantly to allow more simultaneous game installations.  But then again, perhaps a justification against this is that owners of this console will be more likely to stream their games rather than purchase and install them.  This would allow for the SAD Box to be sold cheaper.

 

But will you need a console at all?

Microsoft has been talking about making it's Cloud Game Streaming service available on all sorts of devices, including the Nintendo Switch and even on PlayStation.  (I really can't imagine Sony signing up for that).  Consoles often have sold at slim profit margins - it's the games and online services that rake in the money.  So if Microsoft can have players using (or just paying for) its services on any devices, there aren't too many reasons left to care about selling consoles.  Performance?  Servers handle the performance of rendering streamed games.

 

What about PCs?

It sure has been nice to be able to play Forza Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 3 + 4 on my PC, even without an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.  But I fear this may not last.  A new 'fast-ring' preview build of Windows 10 has been revealed to support playing Xbox Game disc images natively, with Microsoft providing one game to these beta users for free and encouraging them to try playing the game and reporting feedback.  This seems to suggest that future versions of Windows 10 will be able to play any Xbox 1 game.  But when that happens, I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft requires these PC players to have Xbox Live Gold. 

While fast gaming PCs may cost more to build, part of this is significantly offset by having free multiplayer and cheaper games.  This being true in the future seems uncertain.  Forza titles are only sold on PC through the Microsoft store, and at a very high price compared to what Steam customers may be used to.  If you own one of these games on disc, there is no way to claim a digital copy on PC.  The only saving grace is that the game can be purchased once for both PC and Xbox hardware, and with free multiplayer to boot.

 

What about you?

If you already own an Xbox One S or X edition, the new SAD edition won't offer much for you.  If you don't, would you consider this as an option this late in the product lifecycle?  Would you instead wait and see if a newer faster Xbox is released in a year or two?

Have you tried any game streaming services before?  What were your impressions?  I've had bad experiences streaming Steam games over my wired LAN, so as a fan of racing games where quick reflexes (and minimal frame delays) are key, the prospect of streaming over the Internet doesn't seem like it will ever be viable for me.

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At the risk of sounding cynical (lol), I don't see this product as being meant for the consumer. Rather, it's meant for the shareholder as if to say, "See? we're doing something to regain marketshare." No one asked for this, lol. I guess SAD Edition is a good name for a product that originally came out in 2013, but with no optical drive, and also locks you into a paid monthly service for content delivery. 🤣

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