According to a source for MCV, the next Xbox will be built without a disc drive. Microsoft is telling its publishing and developing partners that their upcoming machine will not feature disc-based physical media.
Supposedly, MCV‘s source violated a non-disclosure agreement in order to bring them this exclusive rumor. The NDA in question was “the strictest NDA” their source had ever encountered. Which begs the question, “why violate it?”
MCV indicated that while the next Xbox will not feature a disc drive, it will feature some sort of alternate media slot for compatibility. The site is very non-specific in this section of their exclusive, but they suggest that Microsoft will offer “some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage” for the future console.
Finally, MCV has it that the console will definitely release in 2013. They do not have any recent revelations regarding the platform’s announcement, but the release date their sources have confirmed falls in 2013.
Microsoft issued a statement to MCV regarding the rumor. It’s the same statement they’ve been issuing to publications for the last several months. Within it is a line similar to the standard, “we do not comment on rumors or speculation.”
The absence of physical media for the next generation of consoles is scary. I intend to dive into this notion a bit later today with a larger editorial (which I will link here once it’s finished), but consider the way prices would solidify without the presence of physical retailers for games. Marketplaces will be controlled by publishers and platforms, and Microsoft has already demonstrated what they do when it comes to aging digital software…nothing.
As more comes for the next generation of hardware, we’ll have it.