Microsoft considered a digital-only Xbox One
Possibility of ditching discs entirely was discussed in wake of last year's E3 briefing
Microsoft made some dramatic course corrections with the Xbox One after the console's unveiling, but they considered even more significant changes. Speaking with OXM, Microsoft Studios' Phil Spencer said that with just months to go before launch, the company was considering removing the disc drive from the machine entirely.
"Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change," Spencer said. "There was a real discussion about whether we should have an optical disc drive in Xbox One or if we could get away with a purely disc-less console, but when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues. So we decided - which I think was the right decision - to go with the Blu-ray drive and give the people an easy way to install a lot of content."
That meshes with comments Microsoft marketing head Yusuf Mehdi made in the aftermath of E3 2013. At the time (before Microsoft had made its first big policy changes on Xbox One), Mehdi said, "We believe the digital world is the future, and we believe digital is better." However, he acknowledged consumers aren't always fond of change, and said Microsoft would have to provide "a lot of education" to get the public to understand the changes, something that would have been easier if the disc option had been removed entirely.