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Microsoft's next-gen Project Scarlett console will still have a disc drive

The coming Xbox successor won't usher in an all-digital generation. Microsoft's Matt Booty says Project Scarlett will still offer an optical disc drive.

Microsoft’s just-announced next-generation console Project Scarlett won’t usher in an all-digital generation. Speaking to Eurogamer, Microsoft Games Studios head Matt Booty said that the coming system will still feature an optical disc drive. 

From Game Pass to xCloud, Microsoft has been beefing up its digital offerings over the last few years so, coupled with the fact that the company launched a disc drive-free Xbox One S last month, the next generation’s support for physical media wasn’t certain.

“Yes, Scarlett will have an optical disc drive. I still have films at home on physical media - not many, but a few of my favorites,” Booty told Eurogamer. “We know people have an attachment to buying games on disc, to building a collection.”

The decision to keep support for physical media rolling into the next console generation keeps the next Xbox offering in line with Sony’s lightly-detailed PlayStation 4 successor. Though Sony is skipping E3 entirely this year, the company detailed its next-generation platform strategy a few weeks back and said that its business model is built around support for Blu-ray, download, and streaming games in an effort ensure players have a choice in how they buy and play games.

Project Scarlett has a similar goal. Speaking to GamesIndustry, Xbox head Phil Spencer says that he wants “to give people choice, and right now physical is a choice that millions of people love.”

Microsoft’s next-generation system Project Scarlett is due out in late 2020. The team behind Scarlett shared a quick peek at the system during the Xbox press conference yesterday, noting that its processor is 4 times as powerful as the one powering the current-gen Xbox One X and that Scarlett represents both the “foundation of our future in console and the formation of our future in the cloud.”

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