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Why Microsoft didn't ditch the Xbox One's disc drive

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Microsoft considered creating a version of the Xbox One without a disc drive, head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer told the Official Xbox Magazine U.K.

Microsoft was still discussing the alternate version of the next-gen console as recently as mid-2013.

"Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change," Spencer said. "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, but when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues."

The Xbox One, like Sony's next-gen console, the PlayStation 4, allows users to download full retail games through its online store. The size of those games, which can be dozens of gigabytes, was a factor in the decision to include a disc drive, Spencer said.

"So we decided — which I think was the right decision — to go with the Blu-ray drive and give the people an easy way to install a lot of content. From some of those original thoughts, you saw a lot of us really focusing on the digital ecosystem you see on other devices — thinking of and building around that."

You can learn more about Microsoft's new next-gen console in Polygon's Xbox One review.