Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Scarlett will feature a disc drive that allows players to utilize physical games.
“We know that people still have discs,” said Xbox head Phil Spencer in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. “So even when we put out things like the Xbox One S All-Digital edition, we are very clear with the name because I am not trying to confuse anybody, that if you are somebody that has a library of discs, or that’s the way you want to acquire the content, then you should buy the Xbox One S, not the Xbox One S All-Digital…I want to be very descriptive, because I am not trying to confuse anybody about what the options are. I want to give people choice, and right now physical is a choice that millions of people love.”
This confirms that Microsoft isn’t going to go all-digital during the next generation despite how heavily they are leaning on Game Pass and Project xCloud as their biggest initiatives. Scarlett appears to be their flagship next-gen console and the powerhouse of the Xbox name, and it will have a disc drive.
However, it doesn’t address the bigger rumor that’s been floating out there in the last few months that states there will be a next-gen Xbox codenamed Lockhart that will be an all-digital device.
Given that Microsoft already released an all-digital console in the Xbox One S All-Digital, it makes a lot of sense that they would do so again with one of their next-gen devices. If Scarlett is indeed going to be Microsoft’s powerhouse console, that means that it might also carry a premium price tag. It’s easy to imagine that they might release a digital-only alternative that is either designed for xCloud streaming (and would work like a Chromecast) or at least one that saves a little money by eliminating the need for a disc drive.
Whatever Microsoft’s plans, we know that they will include the release of Halo Infinite; the first confirmed next-gen game.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.