Rumor: Xbox 720 Will Not Have A Disc Drive

    March 9, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

As E3 draws closer and a potential reveal for the next Xbox seeming more real every day, the rumor mill is starting to kick up big time. Let’s recap – the next Xbox is rumored to have a better Kinect with finger tracking and a Wii U-like tablet controller. The newest rumor is the most legitimate and if true would be the biggest change to console gaming since the change to CD-ROMs in the 90s.

MCV got the exclusive scoop from their inside sources that the next Xbox is not going to have a disc drive. What adds further credence to this story is that MCV’s sources say that they are under “the strictest NDA” in regards to this news.

Let’s get the bigger news out of the way first though – the launch date. These sources claim that the next Xbox is set to launch in 2013 which puts it right where previous rumors have pegged its release at. This will put it one year after the Wii U and who knows how many years before the next PlayStation.

For those worried that this digital discless future would leave out those without Internet connections, worry not. The rumors state that games will be able to be stored on “interchangeable solid-state card storage.” MCV says that they don’t know if that means a proprietary format or a universal format like SD, but come on, it’s Microsoft. If we’ve learned anything from the past two generations, it’s that Microsoft creates proprietary technology like the current hard drive in the Xbox 360 to drive up prices for hardware. Sony does the same thing with their proprietary memory card format in the PlayStation Vita.

Moving to a discless console would have an impact on the market as well, no? MCV rightly points out that this would have a huge impact on the retail sector. They thrive off of being able to offer disc-based games that can be traded in and resold for 50 to 100 percent more profit while pocketing all the cash. Moving to digital only formats would remove the retailers out of the picture which is in line with what previous rumors were saying about the next Xbox having something in place to prevent used games.

We have to look at the bigger picture, however, to see how this would affect game consoles. With the Wii U launching this year, it will most definitely be using disc-based storage. With Sony launching the PlayStation 4 at some point in the future, it’s a given that they would be still pushing blu-ray since the PS3 has been so integral in pushing that format.

If Microsoft heads towards a discless future, it would put itself into a position to be future proof. Now, there may be hardware changes in the distant future that require even more horsepower, but who’s to say that Microsoft wouldn’t implement an OnLive service on the next Xbox that would offset the need for new hardware.

As we move towards streaming full games and the adoption of digital trends like this, new hardware updates every five to six years will be a thing of the past. There will be resistance from people who prefer to have physical formats over their games being saved on the cloud, like myself, but progress is never ending, especially in the gaming industry.

What do you think? Would you like to see a discless Xbox 360? Or do you think this is the wrong move at this point in time? Let us know in the comments.

  • Chris M

    If this is the case, I will probably buy a PS instead of the new xbox, I never buy big name games brand new, £45 quid is alot of money for a game and half the time they have no replay value, so I wait a few months and buy them pre-owned. this just seems like another way for microsoft to rip people off and control thier spending habbits. its the same with an online pass, buy a game pre owned and find it needs an online pass, which means you have to fork out another tenner per game to play it online, ontop of the 40 quid a year you’re allready spending to play games online! gaming is just becoming too expensive and greedy microsoft are ripping the hole out of it. at least sony offer customers the option to play online without being charged for it. getting fed up with the entire industry.

  • Abdias

    I don’t know, I think I like the idea. I might be compelled to buy more games now, if all I have to do is click a few times! Sounds like this could be detrimental to Microsoft, it’s still too early to say but it could end up being a pirate’s cove if you know what I mean. I can’t wait. Well if the Wii-U comes out this year, when does the Xbox 720 comes out.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      All the rumors are pointing to an E3 2012 reveal for the next Xbox and a 2013 launch. If that’s the case, it will have been 8 years since the Xbox 360 launched. That’s the longest any hardware has been on the market before a new version was released. It just goes to show that the hardware cycles for game consoles are getting longer.

  • Jacob

    On one hand, it sounds kinda cool to see if companies start to move away from discs. On the other hand… I’m a little hesitant to jump on board just yet. If games are going away from discs, the question becomes:
    How are the games stored, exactly? Are they copied/installed completely on the system, or are they stored on the memory card with only save data on the system?
    Such things could make a big difference. Installing an HD video quality game to a console’s internal memory would take up A LOT of memory, so if they’re going for installs, then they’d better be planning to start shipping the 720 with 1TB+ Hard Drives in my opinion.

    Of course if they’re going for keeping the games on the memory card, then I guess it wouldn’t be as much of an issue, though that probably wouldn’t “eliminate used games” so I fear the former is more likely.

    Either way, I’m not a fan of them eliminating “used games” because it’ll force people to spend A LOT more money in maintaining their game collection. System dies? Go buy ALL YOUR GAMES AGAIN, because you probably can’t “install” a game multiple times. I’m not cool with that.

    So I guess what it comes down to for me is… I’ve been expecting the industry to move away from discs eventually, but I don’t know if eliminating physical media is the answer either. I guess I’ll be waiting until Sony decides to start talking about the PS4…

  • Ender21

    If this is the case, I will not be buying a next gen Xbox even for exclusives. I love running games off my hard drive, they just run faster, but I am not downloading games over and over and over again when my console RROD’s or YLOD’s. Its already too much to download all of the DLC for each game I have over again. Also I dont see microsoft doing well with streaming games in North America yet. Most people dont have a reliable enough internet service.

  • Bman

    Current games go for what ? 60$ if Microsoft wants to a download only or sd card whatever system I’m good for it, if they reduce cost to buy.
    Think about it would you be in favor of this if games dropped to 40-45$ per game ? Honestly Buying preowned games a few months later ( as above post claims) saves almost no money. 60$ new trade it in get 30 then GameStop resells game for 55$ really!!! Wow saved a lot of money. I’d rather they sell a game “code” to install the game, which is saved either online orby the consumer. If u get a second system all you do is simply log in re type your code and it downloads again. It would have to register each system which then tags the account, system code and game code together. This would allow multiple systems In a home to share the games. Honestly it’s not much different than current pc games. I can play battlefield on multiple pc’s I don’t need multiple discs. Again if they make this switch at least drop the game cost 10-15$

  • http://www.webpronews.com/author/richard-stalker Richard Stalker

    I for one can’t wait, I hate having to change out my disc if I want to play a different game. One of the most exciting times is when I find out that a game I play a lot of is available to download for my console.

  • Anthony

    I think people are looking at this the wrong way. The type of gaming media this article is referring to is likely some sort of flash-based card, like what the DS/3DS and Vita use. Or to put it in laymen’s terms, an SD card.

    These game cards are just an extension of the old game cartridge that was popular for decades. I would gladly welcome a future with no more discs. Discs are fragile, they can get scratched easily.

  • Ped

    I dont like the idea of being forced online to buy games. I think microsoft and their games developers are obsessed with making on-line friendly games and forget most people want an in depth single player experience. The only good point i can think of is the cost of games must go down due to their being no manufacturing costs, import costs, publishing, VAT or any other charges related to trading selling a product from a retailer. If microsoft do this and keep their games in the 40-50 quid range then they stick their 720 straight up their ar**.

  • David1965

    Whell online buying of games has killed of GAME PLC and downloads might be the way forwards for XBOX 720 as well as specially developed ROM cartridges to burn the games onto. XBOX 720 game cartridges will have a thing on them that will prevent you from backing up the games so XBOX 720 will look like the old SAGA MASTER system but with no possibilty of adding any disc reader.