Last week Microsoft confirmed a very confusing piece of news. The Xbox One X, the most powerful console on the market, is being discontinued. Alongside this discontinuation, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is also being discontinued. This means that both of these consoles will no longer be available for manufacture, and retailers can’t order any more to stock in their stores. This may seem like a mental move, since the Xbox Series X isn’t even out yet, but I think that there’s probably a good reason behind this move.
First and foremost, Microsoft doesn’t want to force people to move over to the Xbox Series X, and technically they’re keeping that promise. It will still be possible to buy the less powerful Xbox One S from stores, but that just won’t be the most powerful console on the market anymore. It also won’t be possible to buy a purely digital Xbox One console, which might be something that’s attractive to gamers in the future.
First things first, the Xbox Series X will be the most powerful console from Microsoft. They want this to be the case, and they’re not going to offer something that’s almost as powerful alongside it. The fact is that the Xbox Series X may cost a similar amount to the Xbox One X, so it makes sense that you’d just opt for the next-generation console. Microsoft wants to move as many people over to the next-generation as possible, because it’ll make life easier for everyone, developers included, if they just have to develop for one Microsoft platform.
Second, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is Microsoft’s cheaper alternative for the Xbox One market. However, there have been rumours of a digital only Xbox Series X console for years too. I think that Microsoft is basically going to turn around latest this year and say that they have a digital option for the Xbox Series X too, and that you can buy it if you want the cheaper version of the console. This might not have always been their plan, but with Sony offering both a disc version and a digital only version of the PlayStation 5, they need to be competitive.
That’s what I think about this situation anyway. I can’t see why Microsoft would shoot themselves sin the foot, unless they were revealing something more attractive in the future.