Microsoft Considered Releasing Xbox One Without a Disc Drive

Disc-less console considered as late as mid-2013 by Microsoft.

Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine, Microsoft Studio's president Phil Spencer has revealed that as recently as mid-2013 the company was considering a "purely disc-less console".

Explaining Microsoft's thought process he said: 

"Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change. 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.

"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."

The Xbox One's original controversial policies which would have seen limitations placed on game trading and which required daily internet checks would perhaps have made more sense on a disc-less system although it's notable that Sony's PSPGo, which did not feature a physical game slot, flopped. 

Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi argued in June that those policies would be "easier to understand" on a digital only system saying that consumers don't believe they "own" downloaded content in the same way they own physical media.