Microsoft has been pushing pretty hard the past day or two to promote their “All Digital” XBOX One S, and if you’re wondering if there was a vinyl version out there for the hipsters who liked placing the needle and flipping 408 records for Halo 4 to load, no, that’s not it.
The “All Digital” version is all digital purchases with no Blu-Ray drive, which is the primary reason people wanted the One S (cheapest Blu-Ray player on the planet when it was introduced, with an XBOX thrown in.)
The One S stood out as being slightly more powerful than the One, but not in the league of the XBOX One X. The all digital version is still the same hardware, but without an $11 Blu-Ray drive and no way to play any physical content you’ve got.
The all digital version is currently priced more expensive than you can get a One S with a Blu-Ray drive and includes three games you’ll play a few times.
By removing access to physical media you remove the user’s ability to sell a used game, or buy a used game. Microsoft is saving about $11 a unit on these (based on what I can find of bulk-BD drives,) and eliminating GameSpot, your friends, and Ebay of your game when it’s done.
Got kids you want to pass your games down to? Good luck with that. Your stuff is in a digital lockbox protected by fifty layers of DRM.
Get banned from XBOX Live because of your foul mouth, or someone got your password and did some nasty crap? Goodbye games. You can sue, but you agreed to the terms and you’re responsible.
Are you a developer that Microsoft doesn’t like for some reason? Good luck getting your game into the Live marketplace.
You can get a 1TB a disc-less XBOX One S (aka the SAD,) from Microsoft for $249, or you can grab a 1TB fully featured Blu-Ray players version of the XBOX One S for about $209 on Amazon that you own and can trade and sell the games you buy.