It’s been reported via a few channels but I saw it first here with news that Microsoft have discontinued production on the Xbox One X and also the One S All Digital Edition as they approach the release of their new console. The One S model will remain available though which makes it clear they aren’t completely walking away from Xbox One… at least during the new console’s launch period and the end of year sales.
The decision to end the life of their (currently) most powerful console might be a surprise (is to me) but I’m thinking there’s reasoning behind it and that it might be because of the rumoured “Xbox Series S”. Though not confirmed it is supposed to the the cheaper cousin to the Series X for gamers not needing a 4K capable console. Depending on the specs and intended price point there’s a fair chance it might have placed the One X in a position where it may not be as capable but still costs more. So this would allow them to avoid confusion in the market over the different models and their capabilities. But then it could also be as simple as having two consoles with similar naming (“Xbox Series X”, “Xbox One X”) …
With the Xbox One S sticking around longer there might be some additional value it can provide and perhaps it boils down to that it can still be sold cheaper than even a new Series S while supporting many of the upcoming features like cloud gaming. If that is true we could predict potential pricing; if the One S sells at current prices (or cheaper) and Series X (PS5 too) expecting to be in the extreme of console prices then a Series S might fit right between that… closer to Xbox One/PS4 launch prices. How it all plays out won’t be known until official announcements are made but Microsoft would be VERY keen to avoid any confusion with this new console launch so if it means saying some early goodbyes to the existing platform then they’d be willing to do it. They’ve done it before with the transition from the original Xbox to the 360 so it’s not something they’d be afraid to do and with backward compatibility being a key feature the impact of such a transition is minimised greatly.
The Xbox One X is still an amazing console (what Xbox One should have been) so it’s sad to be seeing it go so soon but how that will be felt in the long term is really down to how well its replacement is accepted by gamers and whether it delivers on features and performance. As always, time will tell! 🙂