Next Xbox drops disc drive - Report

Source says Microsoft's forthcoming console to ditch optical drive in favor of "interchangeable solid-state card storage"; will ship in 2013.

Microsoft's next Xbox will not have a disc drive, according to a source speaking to MCV.

The next Xbox won't have a disc drive, according to MCV's source.

To replace the disc drive, the console will supposedly offer "some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage." It was not made clear whether or not it will be proprietary or a common format like SD.

On top of suggesting the next Xbox would not include a disc drive, the source indicated that the console would ship in 2013. This falls in line with earlier speculation suggesting the console would launch sometime next year.

Earlier speculation suggested that not only would the next Xbox sport a disc drive, but it would also play Blu-ray discs, an upgrade from the Xbox 360's DVD functionality.

The site's unnamed source says the news was revealed under what it called "the strictest [non-disclosure agreement]" ever seen.

As of press time, Microsoft had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment.

As for the next Xbox, speculation has run wild as to its form, capabilities, release date, and price. The latest rumors say the Xbox 360 successor could boast a tablet controller, block used games, and cost as much as $500.

It has also been suggested that the next Xbox is currently in development under the code name Durango. This speculation was stoked last month when a Crytek developer reportedly tweeted about attending a Durango developers summit in London.

For more on the next Xbox, check out GameSpot's rumor roundup concerning the new hardware from Microsoft.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

901 comments
stallion_007
stallion_007

used games aka game rentals through gamefly will now be impossible plus they will jack up the price uber high and use some lame excuse like sony (vita memory cards) as to why they did it...so yea...i think i'm gonna stick with my 360 for a while...

Robert_K2
Robert_K2

So, now if they drop the disc drive in favor of, lets say a SD "type" card data channel for the game format, that would mean that the $60 games would then go up to $80 to factor in the cost of the hardware card, replacing the old $.50 disc format. Yes, the card would last longer, and be "virtually" indestructible compared to the disc, but at 400 times the price of the medium, that's a little much for something that most people get rid of in less than a year, or even 6 months. Better yet, would be if they went to Blue-ray, I would suppose, for those who don't already have a player, or a PS3. Of course, the PS4, and the next X-box are both rumored to not support backward compatibility, and to either not support used games or to require a "fee" to "re-register" the used game to play more than a trial version. Just have to wait until sometime down the road to see what "they" decide to try and "stick" us with for $500+. And then see how many of "us" are ready to get "stuck"!

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

@garland51 are you kidding blue-ray is huge! actually there isnt anything to even compete with it and i dont know where you live but everyone I know has a blue-ray player be that with a ps3 or an actual player

DARREN636
DARREN636

smacks of sony circa 2002. insisting they know what we want and how we want it.

DARREN636
DARREN636

used games are what i buy. ban them and i will bin the hobby which i have enjoyed since 1986.

raduionut_2008
raduionut_2008

this is nothing to be upset about, it's just a way for companies to take more money from people, Apple started this "pay more if you want features", then nintendo, recently Sony with the Vita and now Microsoft. Just don't buy their crap and they will lose profit, thus will make it cheaper.

Mr__Maniacal
Mr__Maniacal

@PS2fweak it ain't just about hating on microsoft. sony has done their fair share of crap in running their company since 2006. 2- an opinion like your is dangerous because either your one of those devs. trying to lull people into a slaughter house, or your just really really bent on believing anything they tell you due to your undying love of being on your knees at their whim. An like i told the last idiot i've watched this crap happen for over a decade an i been screaming about it since i saw it. the time has come to begin calling you idiots and if i was allowed even more vile and heinous things because i wasn't the one putting millions and millions of dollars into their pockets.You ALL were.it's only now that you see the light do you raise an eyebrow. well get with the program and pick up the damn pitchfork.t.I only bought games that were worth the money and that maybe was one, maybe 2 a year if they were lucky. none of em were rachet and crank, or spyro, or command an conWhore or any of it's other derivatives like starcrap, or red faction.or ANY EASPORTS GAME SINCE NHL 96. I got every right to be pissed at morons like you.you have constantly let them do this to the point of me wanting to puke .Now if your pissed as i am start a petition or lets gather together for a class action lawsuit. or HELL DON"T BUY THEIR CRAP AT ALL. but talking here ain't gonna solve it cause they are watching ya freaking nincompoop

PS2fweak
PS2fweak

@Mr__Maniacal, you gotta chill out. No need for name calling, and I was just stating my opinion. It's okay to disagree with people. It instantly makes your argument less valid when you get so angry and start calling people names or trying to make people feel stupid just for having a different opinion. It seems to me that you hate Microsoft more than anything else, and you're just using this issue to hate on them, but to each their own. There is no point in going back and forth with you if you can't even be civil.

Mr__Maniacal
Mr__Maniacal

@PS2fweak doesn't matter what you can say the used game market does keep them on their Tows. And you nincompoop you can't say jack about me in a heat of the moment rant misusing the wrong spelling for toes considering your can't even spell the word FREAK correctly. YOU and all who seem to think like you is what has ruined this industry whether you want to be a man and admit it or not it doesn't change the facts. So keep kissing the A*S of those who continue to rip you off that's fine. We'll just throw that pathetic forth coming X-PAC and you as well into that massive landfill of unsold E.T. cartridges somewhere in the Nevada desert where REJECTS belong. I may hate microsoft but that doesn't mean i can't stand for all of us in saying that this new decision is just plain wrong for us. even if the FANGIRLS don't like the rocking of the boat

Strider_D4X
Strider_D4X

Time to save up for a BIG hard drive.

damo320
damo320

@dawgrejectx - apparently you also didn't bother to read all the info out there currently about how soon you will be able to sell your DRM assets. Content purchased online means you own a licence to use that copy... that licence will soon be able to be sold. Apple is already working on that very system in future versions of iTunes allowing users to sell their song, movies or apps.

damo320
damo320

@dawgrejectx - you may not be able to believe a console can drop the disc drive but anyone who is seeing current trends knows discs are on the way out. The advantages of mini cards or cartridges are obvious. No moving parts, less power consumption, less heat produced, no scratching, greater storage capacity (SDXC pees all over Blu Rays storage capacity) and faster data transfer speeds. The cartridge / card is way smaller than a disc allowing for improved case / product designs. Not to mention ALL the original consoles came with cartridge drives. Cartridge based games are hard to break... you can drop em and they don't scratch. I'd love to know how you think anyone backing disc based media in the next 10 years is making a wise move? lol

damo320
damo320

@KeMasta - if you're planning to keep your gaming PC running at optimum specs you WILL be spending more than buying 1 console every 8 years. That statement simply doesn't add up.

RobertBowen
RobertBowen

I was just thinking - if MS were devious, they'd ship their next console with the latest CoD game pre-installed and ready to go. They'd probably get 10 million instant sales. :P j/k

SiLenTWarrior29
SiLenTWarrior29

Well I say screw the nextbox and the ps4! Im waiting for when they drop the Xstation! The ulimate console!

wyan_
wyan_

I'm sick of all the crying about next gen. The bottom line is this: If a console has a decent selection of awesome games, I don't give a flying Steve J if i have to download them directly into my bloodstream or if they're stored on reconstituted chunks of fried baloney! Everyone STFU!

Lauzon1980
Lauzon1980

I buy 90% of my games brand new, but i do enjoy buying the occasional used title that i may have missed or over or overlooked! I really hope that isint something that is being seriously considered! I like everything im reading here except for that! I already paid an arm and a leg for a system with a blu-ray drive 5 years ago! Wont do it again!

dawgrejectx
dawgrejectx

wyan its a dumb idea cards cost way more than a $1 disc, n64 was rined by cards it's faster but what do you think the games will cost if they come of a 14gb card and if its just a 1tb big card to save a bunch of games thats dumbs i have a pc i like keeping my games on it and its faster BUT i have over 30 games i never play and i cant trade in, console games are more temporary and its great to trade them in, microsoft new xbox will be more like the ipad weres the games will all be on the device and you virtually keep it forever if anything happens to the hardware its all gone.

wyan_
wyan_

This all makes so much sense now. The blu-ray rumor was always BS to me anyway. Cards will be so much faster. The hardware will be a lot slimmer too. The cards will be perfect for the tablet controller as well. If the next Xbox actually had a disc drive and blocked used games way too many people would be pissed. I will miss having backwards compatibility, but the smaller faster cards will make up for it. Their capacity can also increase as the system ages. Very crafty Microsoft. I'm in.

dawgrejectx
dawgrejectx

in 2 years time the new xbox will be getting games ported directly from the ps3, developers will know the new xbox is stronger and better but instead of doubling cost there gonna port to sell more games get ready for the portbox 360.

dawgrejectx
dawgrejectx

if consoles wanna be like PC the ps3 is the last system i buy the funny thing is Japan is not gonna follow microsoft guide because in japan PC gaming is not as good as in US and it feels like Microsoft wants to be more like PC but as usal Microsoft is only cattering to US and i dont think Nintendo and Sony will block used games or take away disc drives(so now you can borrow or use traded games) so i just think Microsoft will not do good at all next gen vs the Japanese console makers.

dawgrejectx
dawgrejectx

we dont have to say goodbye to boxed games and all that because this will be the last console Microsoft makes if it does some of the stuff they say. 1 no disc(sony has sold 62 million xbox 65 million partially because ps3 can be used as a blu ray it has a huge upside so ps3 will sell over 100 million consoles eventually in the next 2-3 years. 2 no used games part of the reason i love consoles is trading those crappy hyped games i buy like mass effect 3 and COD MW 3, now ask yourself would cod mw3 sell so good if gamestop wasnt taking used games like CODmw2 ofcourse not it has over 20 copys per store now, as for only downloading games on a console to never be able to brign it to a friends house only tru lemmings would buy this over priced piece of dung.

dawgrejectx
dawgrejectx

i spent 700 for my pc 3 years ago and i have played every pc game i wanted without any upgrade conrats for being a big fat liar.

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@KeMasta YES!! putting $1,000 into your PC rig every year. is the easy way!

KeMasta
KeMasta

This is why I am switching to PC. I can't keep on affording new consoles.... It is just easier to upgrade the hardware in computer and keep gaming.

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

If it had a disc drive AND this new card slot, I'd love it! I always thought cards would be better anyway. Disc drives always break, and I think cards can hold more memory now than discs for a cheaper price. I may be wrong though.

_JASON_69
_JASON_69

Microsoft will most likely go to the same standards as On Live, this will not only make the costs of games go down as there will no longer be shipping or production costs it will also make the need for a large HDD worthless as you`ll stream your games and not download them. and before everyone try's to bite with DL and UL speeds, by the time the new xbox is out fibrotic broadband will be around every house hold as is virgins mission to do so far. all theses peculations about costs will only go up and used games will be blocked are in my view stupid why would Microsoft block used games ?, to lower there revenue as a huge amount of there money comes from the xbox and xbox live and xbox live being brought by those using pre owned games to play online, it will also narrow there consumers by a too big margin so its completely out of the question for them. I believe Microsoft will do an amazing job with the new xbox as they seem to be the only group willing to protect there brand and consumers indefinitely

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@awheaten Quite so. I didn't exist in the 80s,but my dad never traded his NES when he got his SNES,so I've had the opportunity to play all the classics from the NES all the way up to the current generation.Some of my favorite gaming memories come from those 8 bit and 16 bit days. BTW,a note some new consoles could learn from,every single system we own,all the way from the NES to the Wii all still function perfectly. Now that's quality.

supertom221
supertom221

@Ravenlore_basic Funny thing is, it's not gonna stop piracy. All to the contrary, why do you think PSN/XBLA games and PC games are so easy to pirate? Exactly. PS3 held out long without a hack, and even when it did, i tdidn't last long because of SONY's new defenses and the fact burning a Blu-Ray disc is not practical.

lilromeo0606
lilromeo0606

My future predictions. No more silver memberships, cheaper Gold membership, and a premium platinum memberships giving higher priority download speeds, exclusive DLC and betas. How else will they be able to support the vast number of people downloading a 6-12gb game that will take up to half a day to download on their servers. Lets hope the console won't over heat. Say goodbye to collectors editions and box sets, and midnight release launches at gamespot and best buy where you and other fans eagerly wait for the next hot new game.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Either a inexpensive SSD or 10,000 rpm HDD the POINT is that Microsoft next console is going Digital Distribution. THIS is to STOP PIRACY and USED games! If you want to keep your old games KEEP your XBOX 360! PS4 is going in a SIMILAR direction. JUST like STEAM on PC!!!!!

damo320
damo320

@RobertBowen - I agree with your list of pros and cons. The backwards compatibility one is always a hazard when trying to move on from an old media format. However realistically most Xbox owners who are in love with old games should be holding on to their old console. I will be. The N64 to Gamecube transition was cartridge to disc. Hence most N64 owners kept their console and the great thing about cartridges is they still work. With the new Xbox the transition may potentially be the reverse (disc to card) - but in this case you can see that discs are a technology which has various flaws not to mention it is restrictive in that it wastes valuable product design space. Recently even Apple dropped the DVD/CD drive from their Mac mini design - making it even thinner and more compact. The disc drive was dropped in favour of a SDXC slot which has faster transfer speeds and much larger capacities. I think the largest group of people hostile to the idea of the no disc console are the people who link discs to their past time of heading in to EB etc to trade their games. But as I mentioned in an earlier post - even Apple are preparing to make a scheme by which you can sell your digital rights (songs, movies and apps). Also if there are cards - you can swap / trade those. If holding an oversized disc case in their hand is the thing some people are having trouble letting go of then its hardly an argument to retain the format - purely for sentimental reasons.

damo320
damo320

@pszone - discs aren't going to be around in another 10years. The invent of the MP3 player killed the CD walkman / CD sound system and put a major dent in CD sales. The same thing is already "beginning" to happen on the DVD and Blu Ray side of things. You will see CD shops and DVD libraries going out of business if you pay attention. The marketplace is changing dramatically and investing in a prehistoric format on the verge of launching a next generation console is the only mistake any console manufacturer could make. I think everything I'm reading about the next Xbox suggests it may live a happy medium between having portability and durability as well as being a good stationary unit when used with a HDTV.

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

I think dropping a disk drive is a bad idea. Microsoft should do what Nintendo is doing and making a properetery disc that is equal to Blu-Ray to store games on. A card could drive up prices to a point that consumers would not be interested. E3 2012 should be interesting.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

As I said before, if any of this is true (which I have my doubts, it is GameSpot after all), Microsoft looks like it was backed up to the wall, and said "Do anything you have to NOT to put a Blu Ray drive in it! We don't care what it takes, NO BLU RAY!", so they come up with a WORSE version of what you're already using.

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

Slot loading for Discs. Faster HDD(Only 5400rpm). Twice as much RAM(Only 512MB). Quad-Core CPU with 3.0+GHz. We'll see what happens.

brynhyfryd
brynhyfryd

This is all speculation but if true is good news. 1.SD or Flash cartridges eg N64 are better than optical media 2.Microsoft WILL NOT lock out 2nd hand games. 3.Digital download will NOT be compulsary.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

One way or another, sooner or later, we will see the end of the 'physical' medium weather we like it or not.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

@Arthusbuttkick Never buy a PC and use steam then, same issue with selling games back (hint, you can't).

Arthusbuttkick
Arthusbuttkick

If they really block used games then I'm sure as hell never buying the 720. So if they do block the used games I simply have one thing to say... F*** YOU MICROSOFT!!!!

penpusher
penpusher

@lewishim666 your logic doesnt make sense to me, first off they arent carts, they're solid state memory (as in SD cards, theres a difference) but nevermind. And solid state isnt better than discs, they're faster but they're far more expensive per megabyte to produce than discs at the moment and their life spans are no longer than that of a disc, Ive never seen any evidence that discs dont last as long as solid state. And as for we all win if MS stop second hand games thats rubbish. Game devs arent afraid to spend money making games. All that stuff about used games being as bad as pirating is just because devs and publishers have realised they arent getting the money from the sale of used games and are claiming it hurts them so they have an excuse to stop it. Sounds like you beleive it but they always fail to mention the amount of money they get from DLC bought for those games which they charge a lot of money for. It doesnt hurt them half as badly as they would like you to think. The most that will happen is those of us not in a position to pay full price everytime will lose out.

madprof666
madprof666

surely this will push the price of the games up. a cartridge must be much more costly to produce than a dvd/bluray. if not then im all for it

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

I love new console time. A time for panic and speculation based on some guy who heard from a dude who saw a dude that grooms another dudette's dog who's son works for something involved with a company. Would love to see this though. Can we call it retro if it's true?

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

Well if this plan does work, they might stop pirating.

lewishim666
lewishim666

@123joe123 did you read the article? It is going to feature "some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage." Key word interchangeable. Meaning cartridge. So it is going to be cartridge based. You will be able to hold the game in your hand just like you could with a NES, SNES, N64, DS, and 3DS. People need to learn how to read. Cartridge has always been better then discs. This is a good idea. The only disadvantage is that they couldn't hold high quality or FMVs in the past. But that has all changed because now SD cards and the like can hold alot more data. Cartridges have better load times and are more durable so they have better longevity then discs. You can go up to 64gb with solid state storage now. If you get a SSHD you can go much higher then that. People need to learn to read and get rid of the misconceptions about this. This could potentially stop piracy and used games. A win-win for microsoft and everybody else. If they stop used games we will get better games because companies won't be afraid that their hard work will get stolen and might take more risks.

BigWorld41
BigWorld41

Funny how technology works. We dropped cards/carts for discs, and now we are going back? I am only kidding, if this is true I can definitely see the advantages of card based medium. I am sure that it would work out just find depending on the storage capacity/speed of the Xcards. Having a card based storage could help curb piracy. Maybe there would be some sort of data transfer program for those diehard B Compatability folks? But that would likely still require access to a 360, so it would almost be better to continue playing your 360 games on the original system. As long as the new hardware is reliable from the start, and assuming there is a stellar launch lineup, the masses will come if MS builds it.

lewishim666
lewishim666

WTF is everybody's problem with this? So the next 360 is going to be cartridge based. Discs have very slow loading speeds. This seems like a perfect evolution of a video game system. This will be no different then what Nintendo has been doing for years. The difference is that with a console such as N64 for example you couldn't have high quality audio or FMVs because there wasn't enough space on the cartridge. So you will get all of the advantages of a cartridge without any of the disadvantages. SS storage has improved alot over the years and has become alot cheaper so now microsoft can do this without losing the quality you get from having a optical drive. Flash memory is really cheap now. You can easily get a 20gb SD card or flash drive for $20 now. They are just going to make a better cartridge based system that you couldn't do in the past. Who said anything about digital distribution in this article? What microsoft is thinking is a great idea. My xbox 360 doesn't break just because I bring the new xbox into my home so I could care less about BC either. I hate the idea of a tablet controller though. There isn't anything that a touch screen controller can add to the gameplay. I want to focus on the screen not looking down at the controller. If this xbox does actually block used games too I will be very happy. They steal money from who should actually get it. Seems like this xbox could weed out all of the undesirables. I'm all for that.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@inaka_rob I haven't thumbed you down because you're argument actually has a point, and it's fair enough. But the difference is it's not a matter of people adapting to a new format, it's a matter of actually being able to make the choice to start with. Masts for mobile phones and 3G internet is far different then that for land-line fibre-optic internet. Mobile phones became huge because of business, worldwide economies could vastly improve through mobile communication and as such masts popped up everywhere. The difference with internet in your home is that you're screwed unless your provider forks out the money for an upgrade. I want quicker internet, hell yeah, but where I live we've hit a limit. The companies are only going to replace miles of cables at a time if they'll make a profit, and a few thousand homes dotted here and there won't do that. Microsoft wouldn't lose 10% of business through lack of quick internet, they'd lose huge amounts. Yes you have your big cities, but think of all the small towns across the world without a decent connection. I'm all for digital distribution, but only when the infrastructure itself can support it. And for the record, 10% of a business' market is huge - especially to a world leader like Microsoft. They wouldn't risk it. p.s. I'm all for cartridges by the way :P

FlameBeast4000
FlameBeast4000

This is a double-edged idea. On the one hand, cartridges are smaller and faster than discs. They also lack the hum and heat of a spinning disc. On the other hand, they would totally eliminate backwards compatibility, making every 360 disc obsolete, and limit the system's media potential to just streaming and playing downloaded music/videos. It could mean a much more digital-focused set-up in which most or all games and media are downloadable. That certainly appeals to some, but I'm not one of them. That said, it does sound like something Microsoft would do.