Xbox still supports physical games but that could soon change 

Xbox might not have boxes for much longer.

Xbox still supports physical games but that could soon change.

Despite the push into digital media in recent years, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer says Xbox remains committed to physical games. The dial is shifting, however, which could see a change in tune during the next generation.

It’s no surprise that digital is the clear path forward. Much like Sony, one-half of Microsoft’s current-generation Xbox consoles don’t support discs. An FTC leak from last year even poises the higher-end Xbox Series X to get a disc-less version.

Fuelling the fire, Microsoft’s recent layoffs included many people responsible for hardcopy games. Phil Spencer tells Game File that this was more about the “alignment of our teams across ZeniMax, Activision, and Xbox” following recent acquisitions. In fact, the current strategy “does not hinge on people moving all-digital” at all.

Although I’m primarily a PC gamer stuck in the digital prison of Steam, this is music to my ears. Discs often see far more deals, so you can save money. One quick look on Amazon shows Resident Evil 4, Starfield, and Hogwarts Legacy at a fraction of their normal prices. There’s also the argument of ownership. While you don’t legally own copyrighted material on the disc, it’s unlikely anyone will knock down your door and take it from you.

Starfield, Resident Evil 4, and Hogwarts Legacy Xbox Series X/S game boxes.

Xbox games on sale

“Amazon has 20 pages of Xbox games currently reduced in price, including some of the best titles from the past two years.”

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Digital storefronts are much fickler, and you could very easily lose content. Subscription services like Disney have wiped TV shows off the face of its streaming service. Funimation’s merger with Crunchyroll means you’ll lose all your owned media on April 2, 2024. Xbox and PlayStation could very well stop hosting content at any given moment.

Unfortunately, this last bastion of owning your games is on its way out. We just don’t know when.

“We’re really just following what the customers are doing,” Spencer says in the same interview. “And I think our job in running Xbox is to deliver on the things that a majority of the customers want. And right now, a majority of our customers are buying games digitally.”

Considering Xbox’s monumental growth on PC and in the cloud, physical media’s days are numbered. It might even bite the dust as soon as the next generation if sales drop low enough. The choice, really, is in our hands.