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Does the Xbox Series X have a disc drive? – new 2024 developments

Some may say that the disc drive is a function of the past, the Xbox Series X proves otherwise.
Last Updated on December 19, 2023
The Xbox Series X disc drive text - pictures of Xbox Series X and a disc
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The Xbox Series X is considered as one of the leading game consoles in the current gaming marketplace. The reason for this is mainly due to its functionality and hardware, which are built to support all types of gamers. With an upwards trend of digital downloads becoming increasingly popular, the physical disc versions of games may seem obsolete to some. Even the manufacturers themselves are increasing investment in digital, actively steering the marketplace away from the past. This has many of us pondering – does the Xbox Series X have a disc drive, and will it continue to?

The Xbox Series X is an extremely interesting and ever-changing topic, so we have created several more digestible articles that will help you across all aspects of the console. For example, we’ve investigated the Xbox Series X 8K gaming support and whether Xbox One games are compatible with Xbox Series X. For now though, let’s keep our focus on the question at hand.

Does the Xbox Series X have a disc drive?

In short, yes. The Xbox Series X contains a UHD Blu-ray Disc drive. In truth, much of the confusion on this subject is due to similarities between the Series X and Series S. It is actually one of three fundamental differences between the two consoles. In addition to the disc drive, the Series X displays games in native 4K and has 1TB of custom SSD storage. The Series S does not have this functionality, the console is instead entirely digital and displays at 1440p.

Are there plans to remove the Xbox Series X disc drive in 2024?

Rumours have been swirling online regarding a potential updated version of the Series X which may remove the disc drive altogether. Originally reported in The Verge, plans for a disc-less Xbox Series X were unintentionally leaked in FTC v. Microsoft court documents in September 2023. Titled under the code name Brooklin, an updated version of the Xbox Series X would replace the function in full. The extra space is reported to be used for an increased 2TB of internal storage. The new model is yet to be officially announced, unveiled, or given official release dates but with a tentative aim for 2024. We will be sure to keep an eye on future developments and make sure to keep users updated.


Digital vs. physical

Digital downloads of content have now eclipsed the once preferred physical disc version in the marketplace.

The Entertainment Retail Association (ERA) estimates that 89.5% of games sold in 2022 were done so through digital download.

In 2012, digital downloads had been estimated at around just 46% share of sales.

Does the Xbox Series X have a CD drive?

The CD drive and disc drive work the same within the Xbox Series X. Physical disc games can be played on the Xbox Series X. Furthermore, CDs containing music can also be used on the Xbox Series X. Simply insert the CD into the compartment and the console will launch the Xbox Audio CD Player. The CD entered will automatically begin playing through your audio output. Simultaneously, the console will display the appropriate cover art, genre and release date for the CD. However, the application will close once a new one is opened.

Is the Xbox Series X disc or digital?

The Xbox Series X contains both disc and digital features. Users will be able to play disc format games on the Xbox Series X as it contains a UHD Blu-ray Disc drive. Similarly, users will also be able to download digital versions of their favorite games via the new Microsoft Store available on Xbox. In turn, creating a space where both digital and physical versions of games can co-exist on the same console.

Final thoughts

Yes, the Xbox Series X does have a fully functioning disc drive. Allowing users with physical copies of their favorite games to continue playing no matter how increasingly digital the gaming community becomes. This feature is one of the defining differences between the Series X and S. However, with possible 2024 updates looming over the Xbox Series X, the future remains uncertain for how long the disc drive will remain a part of future consoles. We recommend users make the most of the function while they still can.

Tom is a tech writer with a detailed view on ensuring the best buying advice, most useful information, and latest news makes its way into PC Guide's articles.