Xbox One S All-Digital confirmed as Microsoft’s first disc-free console

Microsoft has confirmed the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition console during an Inside Xbox stream ahead of next month’s E3 expo.

The first disc-less Xbox console will arrive with a 1TB hard drive, offering cloud storage for games, saves and back-ups. The company is bundling in Minecraft, Forza 3 and Sea of Thieves, pre-installed on the console.

It’ll mean gamers will only be able to buy digital games, rather than physical copies, while the console still concludes 4K Ultra HD video streaming, HDR and Dolby Atmos. Naturally, this console won’t offer Blu-ray 4K playback, but it doesn’t appear there are other spec differences beyond the removal of the optical drive.

The page is live on Microsoft’s website and the price has been confirmed as $249.99 in the United States, and the console is available to pre-order imminently from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft also plans to bring the console to third-party retailers from May 7, the console’s official release date.

The UK pricing and availability has yet to be officially announced.

The price is somewhat of a surprise given it’s possible to buy an Xbox One S with a 4K Blu-ray player built in, for well under $200 at certain times of year. You can currently buy a 1TB version of the original Xbox One S for $199.99 with Battlefield V.

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Microsoft has also confirmed it will bundle Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass into a single subscription designed for consumption of digital games and online play – perfect for the new disc-free hardware.

Related: Best Xbox Games 2019

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate was, as expected, revealed during the Inside Xbox stream on Tuesday. For $14.99 per month, gamers will receive access to over 100 titles through Game Pass, as well as all of the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, including free Games With Gold and access to online multiplayer. Overall, it’ll be a $5 saving for gamers who buy subscriptions separately on a month-by-month basis.

This bundle, plus the digital version of the console is expected to be complemented by the launch of the xCloud game streaming service at the E3 2019 expo in Los Angeles next month.

Does this seem like a good deal to you? Is Microsoft preparing us for a completely disc-free future? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.