Microsoft is, according to various leaks, rumored to release the major updates to the Xbox One in March, and the white and potentially discless Xbox One later in 2014. The updates, according to The Verge, are to fix a number of issues in the Xbox One and its operating system, especially Xbox Live service. The information about the new version of Xbox One and the upcoming major updates was first released by an anonymous poster at NeoGAF, and The Verge stated that it verified the information separately.
The white Xbox One, according to the leaker, would be released in October with the game Sunset Overdrive. Another Xbox One version with a 1TB storage is rumored to be released in November. It is confirmed by The Verge that Microsoft is actually planning to release the white Xbox One later this year, which has been already released for its employees. It is also confirmed that Microsoft is testing out various versions of the Xbox One without disc drive.
The Xbox One is yet to be released in major gaming markets, such as China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia. So the major updates expected to release in March and the rumored versions of white and disc-less Xbox One are expected to generate much speculation on how these markets and existing markets would be affected in near future.
Microsoft is now rumored to take a legal action against the leaker at NeoGAF who released the information on the white Xbox One and the major updates coming in March. Microsoft attempts to find out the identity of the NeoGAF user “ntkrnl,” who apparently released this treasure trove of information to the public.
Both the major updates to the Xbox One and the white Xbox One rumors have heated up the gaming community in the market already with the Xbox One. While the upcoming update to Xbox One is big news itself, however, the disc-less Xbox One is actually generating more buzz, as it could change the face of gaming industry.
Last year when Microsoft announced the release of the Xbox One, it initially intended that the Xbox One would abandon putting its games into a disc. The move caused an uproar among fans, forcing Microsoft to abandon the plan to go disc-less in any time soon. Game industry pundits generally agree that going discless is the future for a gaming console. However, trying to force the hands of players in gaming industry would not work. And Microsoft learned the hard way in the process; it completely lost ground in the war of publicity to Sony. As the Microsoft’s plan to go disc-less was labeled as corporate greed, Sony successfully marketed the PlayStation 4 as a gaming console for gamers.
Microsoft also released that it cannot decide alone that its console will be disc-less. Retailers such as Walmart, Targets, Best Buy, and GameStop heavily rely on selling physical disc games for revenues and profits. In 2011, when developer and publisher Square Enix decided to release Deux Ex: Human Revolution with a free download coupon for the game in a physical box, GameStop opened the game box, removed the coupon, and sold the game as new. Retailers will not sit and let console developers and game publishers take away the core of their business. It is likely that if Microsoft or Sony goes disc-less, retailers would remove their gaming consoles from their shelves.
If the leak about the new disc-less Xbox One releasing is true, then it shows that Microsoft has a firm idea on the disc-less console and the related services, but it has not confirmed or denied the disc-less Xbox One. Microsoft knows that it would be better to confirm, as it did, the rumored leaked about releasing the major updates and the white Xbox One, instead upset its business partners and fans with the discless Xbox One.
By Jonathan JY Jung