Microsoft apparently has new hardware planned for 2025, which could include a digital-only Xbox Series X.
While there are plenty of rumours surrounding Nintendo’s next console and Sony’s supposed PS5 Pro, there hasn’t been any such chatter concerning Microsoft’s future console plans.
In the past, Microsoft has talked up the idea of making Xbox games more widely available without the need for an actual console, but that doesn’t mean it plans to drop out of the console market entirely. Even if console sales have been dwindling lately.
Microsoft is undoubtedly working on new Xbox hardware, but a new rumour claims that the company will be taking a leaf out of Sony’s book and will launch its own digital-only console, aka one without a disc drive.
This comes via XboxEra’s Nick ‘Shpeshal’ Baker, a common source of Xbox related rumours, who says he’s heard about a digital-only Xbox Series X from a couple of different sources.
He also says there are plans for ‘other hardware’ in 2025, but he ‘can’t go into more detail on this.’ You can hear his claims from the 2:07:33 mark in the video below.
Presumably, the idea is that this would be the Xbox equivalent of the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, which is exactly the same as the standard console but with no disc drive, and would make the new Xbox Series X around £380 instead of £480.
This would be different from the Xbox Series S, which also doesn’t have a disc drive but is less powerful than the Xbox Series X – a fact that has been blamed for Baldur’s Gate 3 not yet appearing on Xbox.
In that sense, the idea of a digital-only Xbox Series X makes perfect sense and probably the only reason it hasn’t happened before now is because Microsoft doesn’t want to have too many models at once.
Baker’s co-host, Jon Clarke, theorises that the new digital-only console could be much smaller without the disc drive – but that only seems to be speculation.
As for Nintendo and Sony’s hardware plans, the former is remaining incredibly tight lipped, only ever insinuating that its next console won’t launch until after March 2024.
Sony, meanwhile, has only talked about its Project Q handheld. It’s only ever hinted at the supposed PS5 Pro and never mentioned the PS5 Slim, although Microsoft seems to think it’s out this year.
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