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GAME and GameStop shrug off Xbox One S All-Digital Edition threat

GaneStop survey finds around half of consumers are less likely to purchase console without disc drive

Retail giants GAME and GameStop are apparently unphased by the announcement of a discless Xbox.

Officially revealed last week, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is priced at £199.99 and comes with three games.

Despite threats that Microsoft's digital-centric move could accelerate the decline of physical game sales, both retailers remained coy about what impact it could have on the sector.

Eric Bright, vice president of merchandising for GameStop, said the retailer has a "full digital agreement with Microsoft that allows us to profitably sell digital games."

Despite the 13% decline in pre-owned sales last year, Bright seemed confident that consumers are not necessarily ready to fully embrace digital, and still want to have the choice of new or pre-owned physical discs.

Bright added that GameStop recently conducted a survey of its Power Up rewards customers, which revealed that around half of them said not having a disc drive would "negatively affect their desire to purchase the new console."

"This supports our point of view that gamers should have the choice whether to enjoy playing video games on a console that can accommodate playing a game either across digital or new or pre-owned physical platforms," Bright told GamesIndustry.biz.

Meanwhile, GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs said the new console was part of a "continuous evolution of the market."

"We believe gamers want the choice of many different ways in which to access and play games across the wide variety of platforms," he said.

Over the past three years, GAME has been moving away from its sole reliance on retail with the launch of its Belong gaming arenas.

"Our focus remains on our transformational strategy to move from a seller of physical products to providing gaming experiences and services," Gibbs continued.

"As more consumer focus and spend moves to experiences, we are well advanced in delivering unique, world class gaming at both local and national level."

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