Microsoft Ditching Disc Drive on Next Xbox?

Microsoft Ditching Disc Drive on Next Xbox?

We all love a nice juicy rumor from time to time. Because isn’t life just one giant middle school after all?

It’s been awhile since we last heard any prospective rumors about Microsoft’s next console, but the latest one may just be the juiciest one yet.

In a recent report by MVC, Microsoft has apparently been telling its partners that the next Xbox will in fact not have a disc drive. Rather, the system is said to feature some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage a la the PS Vita. It’s unclear whether Microsoft is developing a proprietary format or will utilize an already available industry standard such as SD.

Although the sources from which MVC got this information were not revealed due to an understandably strict NDA, this rumor really isn’t that hard to believe. A while back we reported on some rumors regarding Microsoft’s plan to implement some sort of anti-piracy measures in the new system, but up until now it was pretty vague as to how they intended to do that. If Microsoft does in fact make the jump to solid-state storage, then the possibilitites for anti-piracy are next to limitless.

As it stands, no console is equipped with the ability to write data to a disc so any sort of post installation modification is impossible. However, solid-state cards are much easier to modify and therefore would allow the system to make permanent changes to the game once it’s been initially used.

If true, this feature could potentially change the face of the industry and quite possibly deliver a crippling blow to the used game market, but that’s a dead horse that doesn’t need to be beat any more.

Beating a dead horse

Ok… maybe once or twice more.

Another thought that’s worth noting is that if this in fact turns out to be true, you can more than likely kiss your backwards compatibility goodbye. Sony took the leap with the Vita and there was a bit of a backlash, but that was with a handheld. I can’t even begin to image how outraged the Xbox community would be if their massive libraries were rendered obsolete.

MVC contacted Microsoft for a comment on the rumor, but as is par for the course, Microsoft initially responded with the boilerplate ‘we don’t comment on rumor and speculation’ response before issuing a fuller statement.

“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.”

So as it stands, this is all still a rumor, but hopefully some light will be shed on this mysterious NextBox during this year’s E3 as Microsoft has in fact confirmed that console is set to launch sometime in 2013.

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