New Xbox that costs £100 less ‘to launch in May’ – but could end up costing you a lot more

MICROSOFT is planning to reveal a super-budget-price Xbox One next month that will ship without a disc drive, reports suggest.

Windows Central is reporting that the long-rumoured device, code-named Maverick, will be available for pre-order in mid-April and be on general sale across the world in May with a price tag of as little as $250 (£152).

The Xbox One’s sales have lagged behind those of Sony’s PlayStation this generation
AFP or licensors

If you want to play games on it you’ll have to either buy them through Microsoft’s store, or subscribe to a service such as Xbox Game Pass or EA’s Origin Access service.

This means you won’t be able to resell games once you’re done with them or if you decided to sell the whole console, or take advantage of retailer discounts.

These differences can be quite stark too.

If you want to check out Anthem, for instance, you can get a physical Xbox One copy for £40 from Amazon UK, while a digital copy from the Microsoft Store will still set you back £59.99.

Discounts on new games such as Anthem tend to hit physical shops long before digital stores
EA/Bioware

You do have options for games that don’t involve paying through the nose to buy them one at a time, though.

There is the Xbox Game Pass service which costs £7.99 a month after a cheap trial period and gives you access to an ever-growing library of Xbox One games.

Game Pass does include all first-party Xbox games, such as Crackdown 3 or Forza Horizon 4, on the day they come out, while games from other publishers are showing up on the Netflix-like service increasingly speedily.

According to Microsoft insider site Thurrott, Microsoft’s plan for the console is to use it to cut the PlayStation’s lead this generation by aggressively cutting the costs of getting into Xbox before totally new consoles arrive in 2020.

Xbox
Microsoft is planning new, cheaper Xbox Ones for 2019, sources say
The Sun

The aim is to get the retail price of the new device under $200 (£152), according to the report, compared to the current £249.99 list price.

The new discless device will be followed by a new Xbox One  S that will have an optical drive, but will cost less than the £250 you currently need to shell out for one.

Alongside the device will reportedly be a new disc-to-digital trade-in service that will allow Xbox fans to get digital download codes for games they already own and ditch the physical copies.

The report suggest that Microsoft’s focus on both devices is to get the cost down as much as possible “without sacrificing the core gaming experience”, but it is unclear which corners may be cut to try and bring the costs down.

Xbox E3 2018
Microsoft revealed that its working on new “consoles” at E3 earlier this year
EPA

Gamers will have to wait until 2020 for an Xbox Two (or whatever the follow-up to the Xbox One family is called), though that is widely expected to come in two flavours too, one of which will also lack an optical drive.

The new device “family”, codenamed Scarlett, has been in the works for some time.

Microsoft confirmed at E3 2018 it was working on traditional next-gen hardware as well as a new game-streaming platform, which has since been revealed as Project xCloud.

It has promised information on its future plans at E3 2019.


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