According to a report, the next Xbox will NOT have a disc drive.
The report comes from a source close to the British trade magazine MCV. Their source claims that this information was given under the “strictest NDA” they have ever faced.
While the system will not have a disc drive, allegedly, the source claims there will be some sort of compromise there… [quote]…it will offer compatibility with some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage, although it is not known whether this will be proprietary or a more standard format such as SD[/quote]
MCV has also said that a 2013 release for the new hardware is confirmed. The question is when will Microsoft make the announcement. A 2012 E3 announcement would certainly make sense and has not been ruled out at all.
Microsoft released a statement to MCV concerning the rumors: [quote]Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation. [/quote]
By no means does this statement rule out the rumors of the new system, specs and release date included.
Assuming this is revealed to be true, it would be a stifling blow to an already weakened video game retailer sector, namely to the used game market. With this spec’s implementation, it will become next to impossible to sell a game back to a retailer; we, as gamers, will not be able to sell what is our own. Some gamers rely on the resale of used games and the cheaper prices of buying used. Instead of springing $60 on a new game; you stick it out a bit and pay a third of the original price. One has to wonder if Sony and Nintendo will follow suite. It’s a scary, but interesting thought.
This also hurts video game retail in the sense of no longer needing to sell physical games. Everything will be downloadable. It’s hard to imagine how GameStop, for example, would evolve to fit this new market. Maybe it’s bought through an online GameStop? Who knows?
This would revolutionize gaming forever. Time will tell if that’s good or bad for the industry as we know it.