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What the Xbox One S All-Digital cancellation means for PS5

The current gaming industry landscape has a love-hate relationship with physical media. On one hand, many gamers enjoy collecting physical game disks and cartridges (and displaying them on the internet). Physical media evangelists claim the only way to truly own a game is to buy a physical copy. On the other hand, it's hard to deny the benefits of buying digital games, like never having to worry about losing the physical copy. Discounts are also as common as they are lucrative — just look at all the Steam sales. This might explain why Sony is producing the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

Nevertheless, recent news might have killed Sony's aspirations of a disc-less console before it had a chance to live. No, Sony isn't canceling the PS5 Digital Edition. But, Microsoft announced it will no longer produce several Xbox One console editions, one of which is disc-less. This could be seen just as an "out with the old, in with the new" announcement since the Xbox Series X is just around the corner, but the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is one of the Xbox One consoles being canceled. This bit of news could mean ill tidings for the digital PS5, and here's why.

The Xbox One S All-Digital is barely a year old

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched in 2013. Yes, it has been that long. However, the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Slim came out in 2016, and the more powerful Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro launched in 2017 and 2016, respectively. That timeline demonstrates how console technology improved over the years. But, do you know when Microsoft released the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition?. The console graced store shelves in April 2019, and now it is getting the axe. That realization raises all sorts of red flags

Normally, consoles live for several years, but the Xbox One S All-Digital only lasted 14 months. The One S All-Digital's longevity is on par with the Gizmondo and the Virtual Boy, considered two of least popular consoles ever produced. This implies the One S All-Digital fell well below expectations.

It's unclear how much the One S All-Digital's belated release is to blame. Maybe the console might have lasted longer had Microsoft launched it earlier into the Xbox One's life, but the Xbox One S All-Digital's short existence doesn't bode well for Sony's take on the all-digital console.

The Xbox One S isn't going away anytime soon

When a console manufacturer announces it is wrapping up a console's production, that could imply the company won't produce any more consoles in that family. However, that isn't the case with the Xbox One and might also apply to the PlayStation 4 Slim.

According to The Verge, Microsoft won't produce the Xbox One X or Xbox One S All-Digital Edition anymore, which leaves the vanilla Xbox One S with the disc drive. What does this mean for the PlayStation 5?

Sony plans to support the PS4 until 2022, and since the Xbox One S will outlive the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, it might not be a surprise if Sony pulls production for the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition before the PS4 Slim. Granted, Sony has yet to officially discuss the subject with news outlets, but if Microsoft's decision was based on information that states gamers don't want disc-less consoles, then Sony's digital PS5 may not be around for long. 

It's important to note that Sony's decisions to release the Digital Edition at the beginning of the PlayStation 5's life cycle could have a large impact on how well it sells. Many expect the Digital Edition to have a lower price tag than the standard PS5. Given the current state of the world, a large number of gamers could opt for the more budget friendly option.