The Xbox One has a Blu-ray disc drive for installing retail games to the console's 500 GB hard drive. It can also play Blu-ray and DVD movies and includes support for audio CDs. However, a new interview reveals that Microsoft had serious talks as late as mid-2013 that could have led the company to do something rather bold; launch the Xbox One without a disc drive at all.
In a new article at the Official Xbox Magazine website, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer revealed that after E3 in June, "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 ... "
While a Xbox One hardware unit without a disc drive would have some advantages (manufacturing costs are reduced and performance is boosted) Spencer said that ultimately, "when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues." Therefore, Spencer said that Microsoft made what he thought was "the right decision" to keep the Blu-ray drive.
While the current version of the console has an optical drive, it's more than possible that future design versions of the Xbox One could ditch it, just like some units of the Xbox 360 didn't include a hard drive at first.
Source: OXM.co.uk | Image via Microsoft