Will Next-Gen Xbox Shed its Optical Disc Capacity?
According to MCV, the answer is yes. MCV claims that Microsoft has been telling its partners that the next Microsoft platform will not utilize disc drives of any sort, and will instead make use of solid state drives and digital distribution — though further details are scant, as this information was leaked despite a strict non-disclosure agreement via MCV’s unnamed source at Microsoft.
This little kernel of news has spread like wildfire, and already has readers across the internet in an uproar. Speculation runs wild, as gamers clamor on about how this shift will affect retail sales (despite the fact that solid state technology is already a retail-reality with the Vita), though concerns about the lack of DVD or Blu-Ray playability are perfectly legitimate.
The truth is, nobody yet knows enough about Microsoft’s plans to do more than guess at how this seemingly massive change will benefit (or hobble) Microsoft’s next system. Hard details about cost, the possibility of malfunction, and how the system will stack up against its competitors are still under wraps.
We don’t even know if these solid-state games will be distributed as standard SD cards, or if Microsoft is working on a new proprietary technology for physical distribution. Keep in mind that for now, and likely until much closer to the next generation’s launch, we’re dealing mostly in hypotheticals.