The console comes with three popular, Microsoft-owned titles -- Hardware-wise, the All-Digital Edition is the Xbox One S minus the optical drive, meaning it doesn't play physical discs or Blu-ray.However, all of your Xbox One accessories and digitally purchased games and apps will work on the new console. Rumors of a disc-less Xbox One started bubbling late last year, and Microsoft has kept the intrigue alive by focusing on its digital ecosystems, such as Game Pass and Project x Cloud, a game-streaming service set to enter beta in 2019.
“Whether you’re using a console in our data center of your console at home, this October, you’ll be able to use our hybrid gaming cloud to play your games wherever you go.”This suggests that, at least to start, x Cloud will be more of a hybrid cloud gaming service than a cloud gaming marketplace, as many early reports anticipated it to be.
Here are Microsoft’s announced plans for x Cloud: The Console Streaming preview will be available starting on an unspecified date in October.
Microsoft offers some online features to all players for free, including streaming apps and Skype, but multiplayer is locked behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall.
The best deal on Xbox Live Gold is $60 for the year, or $5 per month.
This initially turned out to be incorrect, instead Microsoft chose to spend a majority of the show on game announcements, touching on x Cloud only briefly.
But during this part of the presentation, Microsoft introduced a new “Console Streaming” feature, which characterized x Cloud less as a standalone cloud gaming service, and more of an imitation of Sony’s Remote Play capability.
Plus, as a disc-less console, the All-Digital Edition is clearly a vessel for the Xbox Game Pass.
For a month (0 a year), players get access to a library of more than 100 games, which they can then download and play as long as their subscription is active.
Hell, when Microsoft revealed the Xbox One in 2013, it tried to sell the new hardware as an "always-online" console and was ridiculed so harshly that it reversed course entirely, eventually releasing a more traditional box with less of a focus on digital features.
With this hardware, and with online play still viewed as a premium experience, it made sense to charge extra for access to multiplayer or the cloud.
Microsoft just combined this service with Xbox Live Gold in the Game Pass Ultimate bundle, which runs a month (0 per year).