The latest episode of Microsoft’s monthly Inside Xbox show went live and confirmed a couple of recent rumours while also hinting at what to expect at June’s E3 presentation.
An updated Xbox console designed solely for digital downloads was revealed and yes it does look like an Xbox One S with the drive slot missing. The introduction video even makes a joke of that fact too… they’ve probably seen enough mock-up images over the last few months that it was easier to just run with it. Apart from the missing optical drive its specs are the same as the One S model but intended to be $50US cheaper. I was surprised they didn’t build a whole new case and shrink it down but I think they are being conservative with this first step. Taking this approach and (I’m assuming here) being able to reuse existing tooling from One S manufacturing would be a big cost saving while they see if the public responds well to it.
Another timely announcement was that later this year Xbox Game Pass will introduce an ultimate plan that combines it with an Xbox Live gold subscription. This was eventually going to happen either from the Game Pass or Live angle but I think this might be the better choice. From its name alone Game Pass makes it clear to new users what it does and I could easily see this being the Xbox subscription for the future.
E3 is still a month and a half away but Microsoft are wanting everyone to know they’re still committing to it in a big way. Expect to see a deluge of games (from their new studios too), products and service announcements and maybe even a few longer term reveals too. Sony has previously been able to get away with announcements for games that were years away whereas Xbox tended to focus on those coming soon – maybe now they can do a bit more of both. E3 might seem like an easy win now for Xbox but they’ll still have to work hard for it.
The full episode is below and begins after the 21 minute mark.