New Xbox Won’t Have Disc Drive – Coming 2013 According to MCV Report
MCV is reporting this morning that they have confirmation that the next Xbox will not have a disc drive. Instead, MCV say that “it will offer compatibility with some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage.” It is also confirmed in the MCV report that the new Xbox will be launched in 2013, though there is no confirmed date for the public reveal, though this years E3 is a possiblity.
If this does come to pass, I expect it will be yet another nail in the coffin of specialist retailers like Game if they are unable to speed their transition into a digital distributor. But the question then arises about whether Microsoft would allow companies like Game to have a store front on the dashboard of the new Xbox? I find that very unlikely to believe at the moment.
Of course, with the rumoured solid-state storage reader we might see something akin to the Vita, where every game is available digitally along with a retail release on proprietary SD cards. That would be a wise course of action, as the implications of removing physical game media entirely on the retail industry, and on consumer choice would be drastic. While Game certainly has major issues right now, they have always offered casual gamers the chance to trade in titles against the cost of new games, which are often very prohibitive when you consider the troubled economy.
This story raises more questions about the landscape of how we play our games, the act of selling games and even on broadband suppliers. The more digital things become, the more ISPs are going to have to do to offer the kind of service gamers would expect. If gamers are hitting download caps on a regular basis when downloading games and streaming videos on their consoles, that will cause trouble for plenty of people.
Interesting times ahead, E3 is going to be huge.
Image from MCV.
4 thoughts on “New Xbox Won’t Have Disc Drive – Coming 2013 According to MCV Report”
So, we’re returning to the age of the cartridge then? Figures.
The far more interesting angle on this for me is that the 360 won’t be backing Blu-Ray, whereas you’d be surprised if the next Playstation didn’t make it a core part of the system. In fact, I’d say Sony would be compelled to, because not having a Blu-Ray drive would be a betrayal of part of the core business. Blu-Ray has found its feet now, but I don’t think they can underestimate the importance of the Playstation 3 install base to their sales. Which offers up a multi-faceted problem:
1) Blu-Ray is pretty quick and it has given Sony a sort-of but not that significant advantage this gen. But in theory, Solid State media would be quicker and wouldn’t require the compartmentalising and data tricks of a spinning disk (hence, yet another generation of “the Sony Machine is more difficult to programme for”).
2) Sony will probably have an advantage in manufacturing cost considering that the Blu-Ray is well established. Sure, solid state media is booming too, but you just know that Microsoft are going to go with some kind of proprietary wizardry that keeps costs up.
Fascinating stuff. What happens in this console generation may well have implications well beyond the games industry.
I think for sure Sony will stick with Blu-Ray, even if only to show that the PS4 is a tool for more than just playing games, it will still be a multimedia device. Though I am fairly certain they will follow a similar model to the Vita, both with core architecture (devs have said the Vita is great to work on) and with game releases (everything digital/physical)
Interesting article. I think it would be a mistake to go to an only digital format despite technological advancements. If they start to do digital/other media such as cartridge or cards like the vita, it would also stop a more widespread form of piracy as specialist equipment would be needed to put the data onto the cartridges/media.
Let’s hope the next gen of consoles are not digital only games, otherwise I may have to switch to PC only gaming! The negatives far outweigh the positives at the moment as companies like Microsoft/Sony and large scale publishers like EA are far to greedy to make me want something like this. Steam on the other hand is incredible… take note console makers of the future!