The new Xbox may not use discs

By now, it's pretty clear that we're closing in on the end of the console generation. Though next-generation consoles likely won't be here until 2020 or 2021, both Sony and Microsoft have mentioned that they're working on new hardware. Before those new consoles can arrive, however, Microsoft might be planning another hardware revision for the Xbox One.

According to a new report, Microsoft is planning to release a new Xbox One model at some point in 2019. The name of the game here is bringing down the cost of entry for end users – and potentially giving Microsoft a bump up in console sales at the end of the generation as a result. How will Microsoft reduce costs so it can offer this new Xbox One at a lower price? By removing the disc drive.

Thurrott's Brad Sams has spoken to people familiar with Microsoft's plans, and in a new report claims that this new console won't be a part of Microsoft's next-generation offerings. Instead, it'll be an entry-level Xbox One that could cost as little as $200. When you consider that the Xbox One S costs $300 and the Xbox One X costs $500, it makes sense that Microsoft would want to offer consumers a less expensive point of entry, especially late in the generation as console sales slow down.

Apparently, this new Xbox One will launch at some point next year, with spring 2019 being mentioned specifically by Sams' sources. Without a disc drive, it obviously can't play physical media, but those who already have a library of games will reportedly be able to trade them in with Microsoft in exchange for digital copies of those same titles. It's hard to imagine many people making the downgrade to a different Xbox One if they already own something like the One S, but it sounds like Microsoft will give them to option to anyway with this trade-in program.

So, there you have it: it may not be long before we have another Xbox One model. Obviously, take these reports with a grain of salt, but there's definitely precedent for launching a budget-friendly model toward the end of the generation. We'll just have to wait and see what happens from here, so stay tuned for that.