Recently, digital content has been on the rise. Every passing day we see gaming companies pushing more and more for digital purchases. Sales in digital markets are prevalent nowadays, and incentives to go digital are more attractive now than they ever were. Certainly, Xbox is one of the biggest promoters for this all-digital expansion. They have gone as far as, according to rumors, developing a disc-less Xbox. But, is Xbox right in betting for an all-digital console?
The adoption of cloud gaming
Microsoft is choosing a very crucial point in the gaming industry to push its all-digital initiative. In particular, with the upcoming launch of services such as Google Stadia, there has not been a better time to promote a purely digital gaming platform. Consoles want to keep being relevant and affordable in a time where 4K and 60 FPS real-time gaming is possible. Xbox workaround for this is implementing a plethora of digital services along with an affordable disc-less console.
This approach, albeit radical for consoles, seems like a good response from Microsoft. In addition, it is an appropriate time to introduce the Xbox brand to an all-digital market. Thus, xCloud, Game Pass, and Xbox Live would be the perfect match for an all-digital Xbox.
Subscription based gaming
As time progresses, we see gaming moving towards a more Netflix-like business model. PS Now has a subscription model so does Xbox with their Game Pass. As these services grow in strength and popularity, the need for physical media diminishes greatly. This business model promotes an expanding library of available games, accessible through either streaming or digital download.
This way of accessing games make optical drives irrelevant and makes more emphasis on storage capacity and broadband speeds. An Xbox device focused and designed for this type of model will make real sense, both in affordability and value.
A flavor for every gamer
Gaming is pushing for variety now. We used to have complete gaming cycles with minor hardware revisions, like in the era of Xbox 360 and PS3. That is no longer the case. The market is now crowded with options to better suit your budget and your gaming needs. PlayStation has its Pro and Xbox has its One X. The same even applies to the PC gaming market, with a multitude of graphics cards to take care of most budgets and the most demanding gamers out there.
This trend in variety is not leaving out streaming. For instance, there are plenty of gamers out there that are happy with PS Now and are hyped about Stadia. Along with that same crowd, there are gamers like myself who love how Game Pass is evolving and growing. Thus, the ability to access a vast library of excellent games that increase by the month at an accessible price is convenient and works like a charm for many gamers. Microsoft would be on the right to bundle these great services with a cheap device.
An all-digital Xbox alternative makes more sense now than ever
Xbox is not betting all their money on this rumored disc-less device. They are keeping their Xbox One line-up strong and pushing for better and more polished games for One X. Still, the idea of complementing a disc-less, affordable device, with their current xCloud initiatives and Game Pass is a terrific one. Above all, Microsoft is opening up the Xbox platform to as many gamers as possible, and that is a good thing.
It doesn’t matter what your quality demands or preferences are, Xbox is trying to take a piece of the cake. Furthermore, if rumors become a reality, we will soon see what this new device is all about. E3 is promised to shed some more light on xCloud and the upcoming Xbox generation. Disc-less or not, one thing is sure, this future console generation is most likely going to be the most unconventional one so far.