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Is Xbox ditching its disc-based Series X? Not in 2024, at least

Tonight, Microsoft announced a trio of new Xbox Series X/S consoles, including a digital-only Xbox Series X.

In part, these seemed similar to the consoles seen in leaked plans released into the public domain in error last year that awkwardly trumpeted an “adorably all-digital” future for Xbox – something Microsoft’s Phil Spencer l ater said was outdated

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But how much has changed? The new digital-only Series X is white, as expected, with are no major performance upgrades under the hood. It’s no longer cylindrical, and keeps the regular Series X’s rectangular design. Most importantly, though, it will be accompanied – initially, at the very least – by a new Series X option that retains its disc slot. This “special edition” 2TB Xbox Series X will be available in “limited quantities”, Microsoft said.

Microsoft unveils its three new Xbox Series X/S console options.Watch on YouTube

All of this prompts several questions. How limited are those quantities, should you want a disc-based Series X? And what will happen to existing disc-based Series X (and for that matter, the current Series S) when these new models go on sale?

Eurogamer contacted Microsoft to ask whether the current Xbox Series X/S models will still be manufactured and sold when the new versions join the line-up.

“The three new Xbox Series X/S options will join our current console lineup,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in response, before listing out all five models set to be available this Christmas.

“This holiday, players will have the choice of Xbox Series S ($299.99 USD ERP), Xbox Series S – 1TB ($349.99/€349.99), Xbox Series X – 1TB Digital Edition ($449.99/€499.99 ERP), Xbox Series X -1TB with ODD ($499.99 USD ERP), and Xbox Series X – 2TB Galaxy Black Special Edition ($599.99/€649.99 ERP). Console availability will vary by market.”

For now, then, Microsoft is clearly only committing to the Xbox console line-up available as of this Christmas, or “holiday”. What happens in 2025, or even later into this console generation, remains an open question. But perhaps, six months out from the new consoles’ launch and with the sales performance of these new consoles still to be tested, some of this does remain an open question even within Microsoft itself.

If you did want to buy an Xbox Series X with a disc drive (handy, if nothing else, to support your existing Xbox 360/Xbox One back catalogue), you still have time – for now.

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