Microsoft considered ditching the disc drive for Xbox One
Head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer revealed in a recent interview to OXM that Microsoft considered creating Xbox One without a disc drive. Discussions about whether or not the next-gen console should feature a disc drive took place as recently as mid 2013. It was clear from the Xbox One reveal and at E3 that Microsoft had imagined a console which would have been more digital, however feedback from consumers, and ultimately what Sony were doing affected the outcome.
“Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change,” he explained. “There was a real discussion about whether we should have an optical disc drive in Xbox One or if we could get away with a purely disc-less console, but when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues,” stated Phil Spencer.
“So we decided — which I think was the right decision — to go with the Blu-ray drive and give the people an easy way to install a lot of content. From some of those original thoughts, you saw a lot of us really focusing on the digital ecosystem you see on other devices — thinking of and building around that.”
However the next-generation has brought with it the ability to purchase games digitally via your console on release day, which is for sure a welcome addition. But it seems that initially this is the only way Microsoft believed it should be done. With games rising into dozens of gigabytes, that was also a big factor in Microsoft opting to include the disc drive.