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Xbox Series X Proves World Isn’t Ready for a Digital-Only Console

The Xbox Series X is going to use discs as much as proponents of the all-digital future might have wished that it wasn’t going to.

Gaming platforms like the PlayStation and the Xbox gain more profits from digital copies than physical game discus but a beefy all-digital console is still years away. | Source: Dan Steinberg/Invision for Xbox/AP Images
  • Digital-only gaming has been a discussion point in the gaming community over the last few years.
  • Microsoft recently confirmed that the Xbox Series X will still support physical gaming.
  • Clearly, it seems like the world just isn’t ready for an all-digital gaming revolution.

In the past few years, there has been a lot of hype for the ‘all-digital revolution’. Microsoft even put out the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition which was pretty popular. This raises questions about the Xbox Series X.

Will the next-gen console support physical discs? Luckily, Microsoft has since come out and confirmed that the Series X will indeed take discs. If those official images didn’t already.

This seems to show that even Xbox knows that the world isn’t ready to abandon physical media just yet.

Xbox Series X - Product Shot
Even if Microsoft hadn’t confirmed it themselves, the images floating around of the new system make it pretty clear that discs are still going to be involved. | Source: Xbox

The Xbox Series X Needs Discs Because the Xbox One Needed Discs

Another big point of hype surrounding the Xbox Series X is its support of backward compatibility. There would have been no point in supporting backward compatibility if discs weren’t also supported.

In general, it seems pretty clear that the digital-only future will have to come on slowly. Rather than a sudden shift between generations, it will mean the phasing out of discs over a period of years and years.

Perhaps the Xbox Series X will be the final generation to use discs. But, if that is the case it will only become apparent once we’re all neck-deep into said generation.

Digital Games Can Be Convenient but They Also Have Downsides

I’m a pretty big fan of digital games. They’re usually cheaper and you don’t have to worry about losing them. On the other hand, they’re only available for as long as any given publisher wants them to be.

Look at P.T. for instance. One of the best game demos going that people really should still be able to play. Yet these days people have resorted to remaking the game in Dreams since Konami removed it from the PlayStation Store.

The Xbox Series X and the PS5 both have a need for physical games right now. Until the gaming community can be sure that publishers aren’t going to pull the rug from under them, real discs are the only way to ensure we really own our games.

Samburaj Das edited this article for CCN - Capital & Celeb News. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, see his LinkedIn profile here.