Used game fans can rest easy because Microsoft has confirmed that its next-generation Xbox, currently codenamed Project Scarlett, will feature a physical disc drive.
Phil Spencer, the head of all things Xbox at Microsoft, confirmed the news in an interview with GameIndustry.biz. Further, Matt Booty, the head of Microsoft Game Studios, backed up Spencer’s statements in an interview with Eurogamer.
“We know, because we see it, that more and more players are buying digital. We think the experience in certain instances, specifically if I am away from my console and everything is on my hard-drive with the entitlements are all there, there are some scenarios that are easy,” said Spencer in the interview with GameIndustry.biz.
Booty echoed the same thoughts in his interview with Eurogamer.
“Scarlett will have an optical disc drive. I still have films at home on physical media — not many, but a few of my favourites,” said Booty in the interview with Eurogamer.
Given the Xbox One’s confusing, arguably disastrous launch back in 2012, and the recent release of the Xbox One S All-digital Edition, it makes sense that Microsoft is being careful regarding the messaging surrounding Project Scarlett.
It’s possible that there could be a version of Scarlett that doesn’t include a disc drive, but now we know for sure that at least one version of the upcoming console will still be capable of playing physical media.
Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox is set to release in 2020 alongside Halo Infinite. Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox One is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, and will include the ability to play games in 120fps, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft also recently confirmed that all four generations of Xbox games will be playable on Scarlett, including the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and next-gen games. Backwards compatibility will likely be powered by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service, although specific details and pricing for games haven’t been revealed yet.