Microsoft's Xbox Scarlett will have an optical disc drive for physical media at launch, the company confirmed after the next-gen console's reveal yesterday during several interviews. Xbox Scarlett will be the next-gen Xbox that was heavily teased prior to its official reveal during this year's E3 2019 press conference, and the long-rumored console lived up to the hype and then some, delivering some serious technological competition for a console generation many had assumed Sony's PS5 would simply win by default.
The Xbox Scarlett comes from the same team behind the Xbox One X, the current-gen version of the console that is by far the best received critically, and the Elite Controller, widely regarded to be one of the best premium hardware accessories in the gaming industry. That kind of pedigree is welcome for a console family that badly needs an image makeover after disastrous early problems set the Xbox One significantly behind its chief competitor, the PS4. Xbox Scarlett will support 8k, have 120fps capability, and is essentially tagged to vastly improve on all of its predecessors best (and, more importantly, worst) qualities.
One quality is being preserved rather than improved, but it's big news all the same. During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that Xbox Scarlet will have an optical disc drive for physical media built-in at launch, meaning one of the most divisive ways of consuming gaming content will live to see another day. Spencer was also deliberately clear about the plans for physical discs for Xbox Scarlett, perhaps looking to circumvent any of the confusion or dislike of the Xbox One S All-Digital. Here's what Spencer said:
"I want to be very descriptive, because I am not trying to confuse anybody about what the options are. I want to give people choice, and right now physical is a choice that millions of people love."
Xbox Scarlett's commitment to physical discs follows a similar one from Sony that saw the company reassure its fans that the PS5 would not be abandoning physical media. With digital downloads consistently out-performing physical sales of titles, fans of owning a physical version of their favorite titles have been concerned the option might not exist for much longer. Thankfully, both Microsoft and Sony are willing to preserve that way of life for their many fans.
Xbox Scarlett might be one of the biggest stories emerging from E3 2019, as it's a device that could resurrect Microsoft's image as a gaming company. That being said, however, it's not going to be the only massive revelation that comes out of E3 2019 this year. If you want to keep up with the rest of the gigantic announcements happening every day this week, then check out Screen Rant's E3 2019 hub page to stay up to date on all the biggest news in gaming.