It's no secret Microsoft is working on a successor to the Xbox One that will not have a physical optical drive. As such, players will only be able to play digital copies of their favourite titles – either via downloads, or streaming.
According to a new report from reliable Microsoft pundit Paul Thurrott, the Xbox One follow-up will be bundled with a gaming subscription to enable players to jump into the action as soon as they plug-in their brand-new console.
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According to the report, players will have unlimited access to more than 100 titles from Microsoft. These do not need to be downloaded to the console itself – negating the need for a massive hard-drive. However, gamers will need a pretty serviceable broadband connection if they want to stream the latest blockbuster titles.
Players with a subscription to the Microsoft cloud-based streaming service will not only be able to stream games to their Xbox Two, but also to a tablet, smartphone and desktop PC. Since Microsoft's cloud handles all the heavy lifting for the games – it should be possible to play next-generation titles on older hardware as well, so you won't have to cough-up to upgrade all the devices in your life.
It's unclear how long the free trial bundled with the console will last. However, Thurrott says Microsoft will allow customers to order both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions when they purchase the disc-less console.
The high-end next-generation Xbox hardware, codenamed "Scarlett" inside the company, will also purportedly come bundled with subscription services – despite sporting an optical drive to play physical media, Thurrott adds.
The news comes as days after Microsoft purportedly handed a blank cheque to a number of prominent game studios to enable them to make the games of their "wildest dreams" for the upcoming Xbox hardware.
Sony has enjoyed a formidable run of success with the exclusive titles for its PS4 console, including Uncharted, Last Of Us, and God Of War. In response, Microsoft has spent the past couple of years buying up prominent game studios, including Undead Labs, Ninja Theory, Obsidian, Inxile, Compulsion, and Playground.
If the rumours of Microsoft handing carte blanche to these studios are accurate, there could be some thrillingly original new titles headed for the upcoming streaming service for the Xbox.
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