According to reports doing the rounds this morning, Microsoft's much-rumoured fully-digital Xbox, previously codenamed 'Maverick', will be released as early as May 2019. So, just two months away, and before E3, which is when many were anticipating a big reveal of the next Xbox models.
Not that Microsoft won't be busy at E3 - we're still expecting to see, for the first time, the consoles it has in development - including the properly next-gen 'Anaconda', and the 'Lockheart', which should be on a par with the Xbox One X. Together, these consoles are considered the 'Scarlett' line.
This 'Maverick' is something else, though - a console more akin to the Xbox One S, that does away with a disc drive to offer a purely digital platform, ideally suited to popular subscription services Game Pass and Xbox Games With Gold.
According to Engadget, this console could be just weeks away from hitting stores. They cite Windows Central in calling the console the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Snappy. The Xbox SADE, anyone? The kind of console for which there is no ordinary love? Or perhaps the Xbox SAD? Oh, no. They've not thought this through, have they?
Xbox One S
The original Xbox One S was certainly a looker, as you can see above - but with the suped-up Xbox One X arriving on its coattails, it felt like a bit of a wasted iteration. (For context, I own one, but it's never come out of the box.)
Pre-orders for the Xbox SAD(E) are expected next month, April, with general availability rolling out globally in May. Windows Central reports that the console may launch with a special Fortnite edition, which would certainly make sense with its digital-only focus. No doubt the SAD(E) will also offer discounts on Game Pass, or free trial periods, extending beyond the norm. (Not that these deals are hard to find at the best of times.)
Naturally, the success of digital-only consoles relies entirely on how good a region's broadband is - if you've a piss-poor connection, the SAD(E) isn't going to be for you. The SAD(E) would also represent an interesting stress test for future consoles, from all manufacturers, to see just how willing consumers are to ditch physical media.
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft