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Xbox's Phil Spencer: Our next console will have a disc drive

Microsoft gaming boss says that millions of people still love physical

The next Xbox console will still have a physical disc drive, says Xbox head Phil Spencer.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Spencer reiterated the company's goal of giving players choice with all its services, and that extends to the new Project Scarlett machine.

He adds that he believes digital has certain advantages, but the firm is not about to force gamers down the 'all-digital' route.

"Yeah [physical discs are part of our future]," he says.

"We know, because we see it, that more and more players are buying digital. We think the experience in certain instances, specifically if I am away from my console and everything is on my hard-drive with the entitlements are all there, there are some scenarios that are easy. But we know that people still have discs.

"So even when we put out things like the Xbox One S All-Digital edition, we are very clear with the name because I am not trying to confuse anybody, that if you are somebody that has a library of discs, or that's the way you want to acquire the content, then you should buy the Xbox One S, not the Xbox One S All-Digital... which is why we put it in the name, and yes I know it says SAD.

"I want to be very descriptive, because I am not trying to confuse anybody about what the options are. I want to give people choice, and right now physical is a choice that millions of people love."

It follows a similar commitment from PlayStation to including physical discs as part of its PS5 machine, which is also expected in 2020.

It will come as a relief to physical games retailers, which have seen games streaming and digital subscription services dominate the industry discussion at E3. GamesIndustry.biz also revealed last week GSD data that showed the rapid digitisation of AAA game sales in Europe.

Check out our full interview with Phil Spencer tomorrow.