UPDATE 21/3/19: A fresh Windows Central leak has detailed the final release date for Microsoft's still under-wraps disc-less Xbox One console, named the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.

The digital game only console will arrive in all current Xbox markets on 7th May, the report states, with three of Microsoft's biggest games already pre-loaded: Minecraft, Forza Horizon 3 (yes 3, not 4) and Sea of Thieves.

Boxart seen by Windows Central - and then mocked up by them to avoid identifying their source - shows repeated warnings on the box that the console will not work with disc-based games. Otherwise, the console itself looks identical to the traditional Xbox One S model, minus its disc slot.

We're expecting Microsoft to officially announce the console and open pre-orders next month.

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Image credit: Windows Central.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/3/19: According to reports, Microsoft's previously rumoured disc-less Xbox One will be called the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and be released some time this May.

Word on a disc-less Xbox One first surfaced last year, when reliable tech website Thurrott flagged it, under the codename Maverick, as one of two Xbox One S variants currently in the works at Microsoft. The other, focussed on cost reduction while still retaining the disc-drive, was touted to launch later in 2019.

Both projects are obviously completely separate to Microsoft's long-awaited next-generation Xbox One successor, not expected to release until 2020.

At the time of its initial report, Thurrott claimed that Microsoft was aiming to release its disc-less Xbox One S at a sub-$200 USD price point, some time this "spring". And now, Windows Central has heard from its own sources that the new console (said to "pack near-identical internals to the Xbox One S", minus the disc-drive) will be officially titled the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, and could receive a "near-global simultaneous launch" in early May this year. Pre-orders are expected to open mid-April, but there's no additional word on pricing.

According to Windows Central, Microsoft may also have a Fortnite Edition Xbox One in the works, featuring a custom design. The website was unclear, however, whether this would be a version of the new All-Digital Edition console or of the existing Xbox One line.

In January, Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter gave his own thoughts on a potential disc-less version of Xbox One, writing that while it "may not appeal much to the core gamer... I see it as a perfect companion for Microsoft's value-laden, digital-based Game Pass service. In short, just like Game Pass, it's a new offering designed to address a different, potentially wider audience."

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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