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Jez Corden, a reliable source at Windows Central, has reported that Microsoft has closed its entire physical games department. This is the department responsible for bringing Xbox games into brick-and-mortar shops.
“Microsoft has also shut down departments dedicated to bringing Xbox games to physical retail … which if you’ve seen the digital-only Xbox console leaks … well, you can get an idea of where Microsoft is going here.” said Jez.
Microsoft has also shut down departments dedicated to bringing Xbox games to physical retail … which if you’ve seen the digital-only Xbox console leaks … well, you can get an idea of where Microsoft is going here.
— Jez (@JezCorden) January 25, 2024
Jez correctly pointed that even though the department responsible for physical editions of video games may have closed, it does not necessarily mean Xbox will cease selling physical games. They may decide to outsource the duties.
Xbox has the highest percentage of digital sales compared to physical games. This is probably due to the fact the Xbox Series S consoles do not have disc drives for physical games. In the UK, it is estimated that there are around 50,000 Xbox consoles. In 2022, almost 90% of all games sold will be digital.
Leaked documentsMicrosoft’s next console will be devoted to physical games only. Microsoft’s view of the future is a digital one.
I’m personally still a lover of physical media, especially because to review as many games as possible I’ll buy a copy, beat the game and sell it in order to put the money toward the next title I want to cover. I don’t have a problem with companies focusing on digital sales, but I also believe there’s plenty of room for both to exist. Microsoft’s perspective is that a digital purchase of a first-party game means they get to keep the entire sale, while a physical purchase brings in less.
It seems that supermarkets and stores have also begun to phase out physical media. Here in the UK Tesco no longer stocks gamesAsda has reduced its games, movies and other entertainment to almost nothing. meanwhile, retailer GAME announced that it will no longer sell pre-owned titles.In the US, there are reports of Walmart plans to eliminate games as well.