Xbox One Almost Didn't Have a Disk Drive at All

Xbox One Almost Didn't Have a Disk Drive at All

xbox one image

In the end, the large file size of next-gen games killed the "no disk drive" argument.

We all know that Microsoft was pushing for a brighter, digital, always-online future with the Xbox One, and now Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer has revealed that in order to pursue this vision, they debated removing the console's optical drive altogether. Spencer says that ultimately, the ginormous file size of next-gen games was what killed the "no disk drive" argument.

"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," Spencer told IGN, "But when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues."

"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."

Considering the immense backlash surrounding the console's initial "always-online" nature (that eventually led to its reversal), I think most of us would agree with Spencer, in that keeping the disk drive was the right decision.

Do you only purchase physical disks for your platform of choice, or do you purchase everything digitally? I do a mix of both - I like to have disks for my consoles, while my PC games are almost exclusively digital downloads.

Source: IGN

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What a surprise, anther stupid descion that was overturned / changed / backed out of.

It's almost like they didnt wanna sell the console from the get go.

Ok i'm done xbox bashing now.

Oh, and whether i get digital or physical depends on the price, whatever is cheaper. Just bought a TON of steam games due to the sale, but if it is cheaper to get it on disc, then thats where i am going.

Wait, so they originally wanted a game console that could only download games and then only gave it a small non removable hard drive?

They wanted people's games to be kept on the cloud didn't they :(

Yeah that would have worked pay $60 for a game that is kept on there servers that can then be deleted whenever they want because of a ToS agreement.

That would have ended well.

Now, now Microsoft. Just because you're telling us how it could have been worse doesn't mean it isn't bad now.

Kumagawa Misogi:
Yeah that would have worked pay $60 for a game that is kept on there servers that can then be deleted whenever they want because of a ToS agreement.

That would have ended well.

I think you mean, pay $60 for a game, pay $60 a year for XBL Gold to gain access to it, then pay another $60 a year for access to XBL Gold Premium Cloud Storage because the HDD isn't big enough.

Then get banned and lose it all for swearing at the machine when it can't stay connected and keeps dropping you out of game...

Ultimately, the decider should've been "Well damn, we're never gonna beat out Steam in digital game distribution.".

Weeell... it's not like a disc and digital downloads are the only options. What about high-speed flashdrives and whatnot as an alternative to discs? Those are getting faster and bigger all the time.

I'm not surprised that managers at MS would be so stupid to consider such an absurd possibility in this age.

What is still a little surprising though that they admit it. Apparently for them it's still "Hah hah we are so forward thinking we almost didn't include an optical drive" instead of "Hah hah we were so incredibly dumb that we thought everyone in the world has a 100% reliable 1 Gbit internet connectivity and is willing to accept any bullshit we throw at them! Gosh we were such idiots!".

Of course, these are the people who honestly believe everyone has a dedicated room just for Kinect, so...

Skeleon:
Weeell... it's not like a disc and digital downloads are the only options. What about high-speed flashdrives and whatnot as an alternative to discs? Those are getting faster and bigger all the time.

A 30GB game on a flashdrive would have to cost at least $15 more if it comes on a flash drive instead of an optical disk. Right now I'm not aware of any read-only media which would work fine for this purpose.

Is this really news? I mean, obviously Microsoft probably didn't want to license the blu-ray technology, and obviously they had a very strong preference for always-online, digital-download experience (and I'm sure game publishers would have supported that second point wholeheartedly to do away with the evils of second hand game sales). In fact, I would be more surprised if the next iteration of consoles (if we ever get them) had disc drives than if they didn't.

A little disappointed this didn't come to fruition, disc based media is almost certainly on the way out, anything to speed that up would be a plus IMO. Hopefully it comes soon enough that the government goes with FttP instead of FttN for the NBN so we aren't doomed to remain stuck with internet that's the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

I'm not surprised by that at all. Bogos has a point, almost ALL PC games are digital only at this point, and the few big ones out there typically have a Digital Collector's Edition (ala Starcraft) that often give you more content than their physical counterparts.

Also, as much as we want to insult the idea, Apple has the Macbook Air which has no disk drive, and it's been bringing them a profit for a few years now so it's not even unheard of. They definitely have slightly different user bases, but functionally it's proof that it could work.

Considering there's a story running RIGHT NOW about how several Marvel titles have been yanked from digital distribution...
... Yeah, screw digital only. If they had their way, those games would be lost forever.

So one team in Microsoft wanted digital-only, but another team brought up the bandwidth issues. So they "compromised" and put the cheapest, piece-of-shit, one-orientation-only drive in it they could find.

Good job, Microsoft!

(Though, I am a bit ashamed to admit, I probably talked a friend-of-a-friend into buying a 360 over New Year's. In my defense, it was mostly to steer them clear of the One.)

TiberiusEsuriens:
I'm not surprised by that at all. Bogos has a point, almost ALL PC games are digital only at this point, and the few big ones out there typically have a Digital Collector's Edition (ala Starcraft) that often give you more content than their physical counterparts.

Also, as much as we want to insult the idea, Apple has the Macbook Air which has no disk drive, and it's been bringing them a profit for a few years now so it's not even unheard of. They definitely have slightly different user bases, but functionally it's proof that it could work.

Well we know that half the reason anyone buys an apple product is to show that they have an apple product. Kinda like how people buy Nike and Adidas shoes, there are cheaper mur effective/comfortable/functional shoes. Nike is what you but to say, 'yeah I can buy nike, suck it all you no brand poor people'

Seriously, this cloud thing is where distributors want to go because it's basically their ideal, their wet dream. You know like how slavery was the ideal for the industrial era. And much like slaver it disproportionally benefits one side... ie only benefits one side. I mean, this way they can treat your games library like your cable company treats channels. Oops, sorry, we moved that channel to another package, you'll have to upgrade to access it.

They'd probably charge the devs/publishers a little something for the honour of having their game listed in their cloud.

There's also the fact that it would limit the uptake of the Bone... see just like Simcit and Diablo 3, they're quick to chant howmany they have but the online requirements would more or less mean that there are large areas (whole countries in some cases) that simply could not purchase the game... it's why D3 still hasn't outsold Diablo 2. In some countries, the Bandwidth caps are quite extreme...

I still maintain the actual reason was that they only remembered a couple of weeks before launch that they were selling a gaming machine not a Tivo.

smithy_2045:
A little disappointed this didn't come to fruition, disc based media is almost certainly on the way out, anything to speed that up would be a plus IMO. Hopefully it comes soon enough that the government goes with FttP instead of FttN for the NBN so we aren't doomed to remain stuck with internet that's the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Are you kidding? That would only encourage them, since they're hell-bent on pushing the idea that people only need faster Internet for games and downloading movies.

BigTuk:
Well we know that half the reason anyone buys an apple product is to show that they have an apple product. Kinda like how people buy Nike and Adidas shoes, there are cheaper mur effective/comfortable/functional shoes. Nike is what you but to say, 'yeah I can buy nike, suck it all you no brand poor people'

You sound a little bitter/hateful there. I don't think you're aware that Apple's user base is more than just hipsters in coffee shops. Anyone getting into the arts (video/photo editing, animation, music recording, etc..) are usually encouraged to get Macs because iOS typically has a lower overhead than Windows, leaving more cycles for rendering and agent processing, something that anyone in the field knows takes a god-awful long time to complete. Also, the differences between the $1k Macs and the $5k Macs are minimal, so most people just get the basic ones, which can be leagues better than out-of-the-box PCs you get at Best Buy. Instead of insulting an entire user base, why don't we just laugh at all the people spending $5k on a computer (regardless of brand) that we could build for $1-1.5k?

Thanks,
A fellow PC user.

Gah this reeks of first world problems :/ Seriously I am lucky if my download speed here in South Africa is 2mb a second and yet Microsoft thing games that a 40gb or whatever are not a problem to download in first world countries? Digital will only be truly digital when the majority of the world can actually have proper internet. Maybe in another 20 years or so but not now.

Always online would have been a terrible idea had they kept the Drive, but if they had gone without it I would not have minded. if it was coupled with a dramatic price drop compared to the 360 in terms of software, I would go all digital for my console as I do for my Mac.

they missed out.

Wow, MS being retarded and artificially limiting their potential user-base again, what a surprise.

/Sarcasm

Epic_Bubble:
Gah this reeks of first world problems :/ Seriously I am lucky if my download speed here in South Africa is 2mb a second and yet Microsoft thing games that a 40gb or whatever are not a problem to download in first world countries? Digital will only be truly digital when the majority of the world can actually have proper internet. Maybe in another 20 years or so but not now.

downloading a 40 gb game is not a problem in first world countries, except US and Australia (and partly UK since they are the shame of europe when it comes to internet).

And anything related to gaming is first world problems. However applying to falacy of relative privation does not make it any better.

BigTuk:

Well we know that half the reason anyone buys an apple product is to show that they have an apple product. Kinda like how people buy Nike and Adidas shoes, there are cheaper mur effective/comfortable/functional shoes. Nike is what you but to say, 'yeah I can buy nike, suck it all you no brand poor people'

I thought that was the point of the xbone.

OT: What works for pc doesn't necessarily translate to consoles, at least not at this stage.Gonna need servers to stop going down for every single game first before you can manage that cloud you want.

Edit:

Epic_Bubble:
Gah this reeks of first world problems :/ Seriously I am lucky if my download speed here in South Africa is 2mb a second and yet Microsoft thing games that a 40gb or whatever are not a problem to download in first world countries? Digital will only be truly digital when the majority of the world can actually have proper internet. Maybe in another 20 years or so but not now.

Your telling me you got better internet in south africa then I do in Australia? I assume its not the norm there but still, my countries internet must suck.

would have been a recipe for disaster. I get that fellows from areas of the world with lightning fast internet want to do away with the "evils" of discs and hearken in a new digital only age, or whatever, but wait for the rest of us to catch up before you try to force an evolution.

My internet is fine for old-world games, like PS2 era or earlier. I had no trouble filling my vita with pretty much my entire childhood PS1 library and a few random PSP RPGs, but the one time I tried to download a current gen title full digital, it took 17 hours. Wasn't even a cutting-edge, AAA title. It was Ken's rage 2. I don't want to imagine trying anything bigger than that.

If consoles decided to chase after steam and go full digital, I'd pretty much be pushed out of the gaming hobby by virtue of my geographic location. Just not cool, bro.

 

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