Reports Suggest The Next Xbox Will Feature No Optical-Drive!

I don’t always report on rumors and speculation because honestly who knows if there’s any truth to what we’re hearing.  That said, this is one rumor I just had to pass your way.  So here’s the scoop, apparently MCV has heard from reliable sources that Microsoft’s next Xbox, which is gearing up for a holiday 2013 release, will not feature an optical drive.  Instead the system will feature some sort of solid-state cartridge format, but not for use in the traditional sense.  It is unknown if the system will make use of a proprietary format or something like SD cards, but either way this does fall in line with what we heard earlier about the system not being able to play used games.  How you may ask, simple.  Rumors are also suggesting that you wouldn’t buy these carts with individual games on them, instead they would be used only to download the games from your local retailers, and then bring the carts back to your system if you don’t want to download the games directly from Live.  This sounds very similar to what Nintendo did years ago in Japan with their Famicom Disk Drive add-on for the original Famicom.

As of right now this is purely a rumor, but again, it seems to fall in line with everything else we’ve been hearing about the new machine.  The question I have for all of you is, what do you think of this?  If you were forced to download your games to the system, or to go to a retail store to download the games to a cart, is this a future you’re interested in?

Personally I love the idea of no longer having to worry about discs and carts all over the place.  If I could have my entire catalogue on my system, perfect.  I completely understand those that sell their games, and others that love having a physical collection, but for me I truly see this as the future of the industry.  The major concern though isn’t so much about personal taste, it’s about countries whose infrastructure isn’t as up to date as North America and Europe.  What happens then?  Well if the rumors are true and those people could visit their local game shops to download the games on these unique carts, well that might just solve that problem.

Whatever the truth may be, this is a very interesting story and slowly but surely the pieces are all coming together.  In my mind it’s very clear that Microsoft is trying to create an Apple-like ecosystem whereby they will control your living room with their Xbox brand, think Hulu, Netflix, etc, and then tie that into Metro-enabled tablets and laptops, Windows 8 PCs, and their Nokia-Windows phones.  Imagine being able to access all your Live information, friends lists, achievements, etc, from any device out there, and have full access to your games, your movies, photos, music and whatever else you might have on these devices.  I can see the big picture here and I must admit, if all of this comes to fruition, it’s going to be pretty crazy.

5 thoughts on “Reports Suggest The Next Xbox Will Feature No Optical-Drive!”

  1. I’m in the same boat as you, Jarrod, in that I’m excited for a future where my entire game catalogue can be right there on my console. This is very cool news and I’m definitely excited to see what other news breaks about the system in the coming months. There is no doubt about it that Microsoft is on a quest to take over our living rooms, and I like it. :)

  2. Call me old school , but i dont like this at all, i mean a digital only console, basically for a few reasons, first the download speed capacity of the internet alongside with the storage capacity of the console, and especially if we took in consideration that with every generation the games use more capacity, i dont like the idea of downloading a game that tooks 5 days, also the storage of the console should be like 100 TB or something like that, which will affect the price of the console.
    Another Reason the ownership issue with these games, i know that physical games you own a license for using the game under some especific conditions, but in the end i can do a lot of things with them, and more importantly i can play all my old games, what happens when the service dont support old games, like the XBOX live closure of the first generation multiplayer games, but this time also with the singleplayer, adding to this the ownership of the account and games, becuase the can block my account for any reason and i lose all the access to my games, therefore they need to think very throughfully the implications of ownership for this digital console games.
    Other thing will be the possibility of the accesing of hackers into my account like with the PSN issue, that can take all my games away, or do other things that affect my purchases of games.
    One last issue, the possibility of prices going up, because in the end if games cannot be sold in any other way, between retailers, second hand retailers and /or gamers, then they can dictate the prices they want because they hold the monopoly for establishing the price they do see fit .
    Therefore, to sum things up, they need to improve a lot of things before i can start pondering about the possibility of digital only games, because at this moment physical games have a lot of advantages over digital ones, at least we dont have the infractrusture ready yet for this

  3. I don’t see this as being digital only because we’re just not there yet for worldwide users. Not everyone has access to broadband. Some countries live off of WiFi, and those speeds aren’t always up to par so I think we’re looking at an SD card-type solution with a heavy focus on digital distribution for those countries that can support it. That’s my two cents anyways ;)

  4. Well SD card alltogether with digital, yes i can see that and i dont have any problems with this, as long as we can decide which one will we use, and i am not against digital only,dont get me wrong and i understand why people like the idea, but i only did wanted to state the many issues they need to cover if they want this to become a reality, and also they need to think outside the box with all the possible implications that may arise pre-during and post launching this system, therefore this way, once they decide to go this route all the imporant issues had been solved out and all is good for the consumers.

  5. Oh there are certainly issues, to be sure. For me, it’s just the days of lugging over 2,000 games with me every time I move is no longer an option. It is such a pain to have to keep boxing all this stuff up. That said, the major problem I have with digital is the fact that you don’t technically own anything at all, which is kind of scary. So what happens in 15 years from now? Will all these games remain playable or will they simply close shop and call it a day? That’s my main concern.

    LIke I said though, I can’t see anyone going 100% digital only because the world marketplace is extremely different than only looking at North America.

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