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Physical game releases are increasingly becoming unpopular as digital releases surge. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has reiterated that eliminating physical media is not Xbox’s strategic goal. But its support for disc-based games appears to be shaky.

Xbox Will Not Stop Physical Game Release, Promises Largest Technical Leap In Next Console

In September last year, leaked documents suggested Microsoft’s future gaming strategy involves plans to launch an “adorably all digital” version of the Xbox Series X console. The project was codenamed ‘Brooklin’. The launch of the revamped console was targeted at November 2024 with a price point of $499.

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Spencer recently granted an interview to Game File where he discussed several issues around the company’s business model. However, he declined to talk about the leaked documents but maintained that Microsoft will continue to pay attention to consumers and do what they want. In other words, their decisions will be inspired by “what the customers are doing”.

“We are supportive of physical media, but we don’t have a need to drive that disproportionate to customer demand,” Spencer said.

Xbox Will Not Stop Physical Game Release, Promises Largest Technical Leap In Next Console

Phil Spencer

“We ship games physically and digitally, and we’re really just following what the customers are doing. I think our job in running Xbox is to deliver on the things that a majority of the customers want. Right now, a majority of our customers are buying games digitally.”

At the moment, most triple-A titles receive both physical and digital releases. However, there have been a few exceptions to that norm. Alan Wake 2 which was released last October was a digital-only release. The upcoming Xbox-exclusive Hellblade 2 is also billed as a digital-only release.

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“Gaming consoles themselves have kind of become the last consumer electronic device that has a drive,” Spencer told Game File.

“This is a real issue, just in terms of the number of manufacturers that are actually building drives and the cost associated with those. But I will say our strategy does not hinge on people moving all-digital. Getting rid of physical, that’s not a strategic thing for us.”

Xbox claims its next console will have the largest technological leap

Xbox Will Not Stop Physical Game Release, Promises Largest Technical Leap In Next Console

Sarah Bond

Earlier this month rumors circulated that Microsoft was planning to stop the production of Xbox and was bringing the platform’s exclusive titles to rival platforms. The rumors sparked outrage from the Xbox community.

That prompted Xbox executives to announce a business update podcast where they debunked most of the rumors and explained the reasons why they decided to bring four platform exclusives to rival consoles.

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During the business update podcast, Xbox president Sarah Bond said the next generation of Xbox hardware would be “the largest technical leap you will have ever seen in a hardware generation”. Bond’s comment was believed to be an attempt to douse the tension within the company’s gaming community.

“There’s some exciting stuff coming out in hardware that we’re going to share this holiday”, she said, “and we’re also invested in the next-generation roadmap.”

“What we’re really focused on there is delivering the largest technical leap you will have ever seen in a hardware generation, which makes it better for players, and better for creators and the visions that they’re building.”

Bond stressed that hardware was still a core part of the Xbox development process and that the Xbox Game Studios would be instrumental in defining the specs of the next Xbox hardware, enabling them to build their games around it.

“Our developers can build the specs of our hardware, and we invest to make sure when they do that the games are going to run great on our hardware,” Bond said.

“But they’re also going to be able to be accessed across any screen because of all the other investments we make. So, we’re giving them an easy way to access as many players as possible.”

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Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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