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Just like earlier rumours suggested, another report claims Microsoft Corp. will release its next-generation video game console in 2013. Moreover, it is now said that the world's largest maker of software will remove optical disc drive from the Xbox Next and completely rely on downloads. Potentially, this may limit the console's success in developing countries.

Earlier, a Microsoft roadmap from unofficial sources indicated that that the software giant planned announce the Xbox "loop" at the E3 show in June '13 and intended to launch it at Build conference in September, 2013. The DailyMail now confirms citing its sources that the software giant would launch its Xbox Next (code-named Loop or Durango) in 2013. Moreover, the new rumour suggests that Microsoft might demonstrate "the new Xbox at the games industry conference E3 in Los Angeles in May".

For Microsoft it is logical to demonstrate its Xbox Next this May in order to slowdown sales of Wii U, the next-generation console from Nintendo. But on the other hand, this will naturally cause some people to hold off the purchase of the Xbox 360 in 2012.


What is quite surprising is that DailyMail also suggests that Microsoft will not install any optical disc drive into the Xbox Next. The information seems to be quite surprising as it will not only require Microsoft to install high-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs) into all of its consoles, but also drop backwards compatibility with titles for Xbox or Xbox 360 as all of them were released on DVD discs. Furthermore, absence of any optical drive will put Microsoft in dependence of Internet connection speed and will clearly make relationship between Microsoft and retailers a lot harder, as the latter are very interested in selling video games, not only consoles. Still, it is possible that Microsoft will get rid of optical disc drive in the Xbox Next.

As previously reported, Microsoft has already started to send Xbox Next software development kits to its partners among video game designers. It was reported in January that contract manufacturers had already started to produce system-on-chips for Xbox Next development kit. The SoCs are reportedly code-named Oban and feature PowerPC microprocessor cores, AMD Radeon HD graphics processing engine based on the so-called GCN (graphics core next) architecture. Earlier it was reported that Xbox Next would feature an ARM-based heterogeneous system-on-chip (SoC) with  multiple dedicated assistive cores for graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox Next, Xbox Loop, Durango

Discussion

Comments currently: 23
Discussion started: 03/09/12 04:22:03 PM
Latest comment: 03/28/12 02:57:35 PM
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1. 
Hmmm... this just seems very unlikely. Maybe they've got something else up their sleeves, but if there's any truth to this, my guess would be that they may offer *a* console without the optical drive--one model, not all models, just as they offer some with hard drives, some without.
3 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 03/09/12 04:22:03 PM]
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Agreed. Maybe the casual console will have no optical drive, but I can't see all of them not having it. I suppose they could use flash cards like PS Vita or Nintendo DS. Still, it's hard to believe MS will try to position the next Xbox as a media entertainment center without a Blu-Ray drive.

Also, I am having a hard time believing that 32-64GB flash memory is cost effective, surely not against a 50GB Blu-Ray disc that costs what $3-4?

The worst part about the new Xbox console is lack of any positive rumors.

- The GPU is rumored to be some weak HD6670 or perhaps a low-end HD7000 series
- Kinect is supposed to be integrated into every console (yuck!)
- MS is trying to stop the sale of used games (i.e., perhaps attach a code to a game that registers to your console and thus you can't ever sell that game)

And now this rumor.

Either way, I think almost all cross-platform games are better on the PC, while exclusive games are better on Sony's console. The fact that PS4 is launching later in 2014, and will surely have a Blu-Ray drive, clearly sets up PS4 as the more advanced console.

Also, current rumors point to PS4 having AMD CPU + GPU. Since PS4 is launching later than Xbox, you can 100% predict that it will use a more modern AMD GPU.

Not looking good for the next MS console, unless they are going after the Wii market of casual gamers.
0 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 03/09/12 06:04:40 PM]
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Agreed. I would be very surprised if MS didn't offer a console with an optical drive. Their strategy up to this point has been to make their consoles the center of your home entertainment experience. Leaving out an optical drive would limit it's usefulness as the sole portal to all media by forcing people to have a bluray/dvd player for all of their movies that are still on optical discs.
1 0 [Posted by: triharder  | Date: 03/12/12 06:10:12 AM]
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2. 
show the post
0 5 [Posted by: PsiAmp  | Date: 03/09/12 07:27:44 PM]
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"Last time I checked I have ~1 GB/min download speed from Steam. And I live in a former soviet, 3rd world country"

You know some former USSR countries have the best Internet in the world? You used your 1 GB/min speed as if it's anywhere near normal!

Latvia, Estonia, etc. those countries' Internet speeds are 3x faster than the global average:
http://www.netindex.com/

What about millions of people in the US who live in rural areas and only have DSL? My Internet right now is only 6Mbps for $40/month or 5x slower than in Lithuania. I bet there are millions of people like me in the US.

What about the rest of the world that doesn't have access to fast Internet connection? If they force people to buy games online only, they are surely going to send a lot of customers straight to Nintendo and Sony.

Even my friends in Canada and Australia pay $50 for Internet but often only have 50-60GB bandwidth cap limits a month! That means 2-3 next generation of games will max out their monthly bandwidth limit. After that, they are paying $2 per gigabyte of bandwidth. Considering MS already charges a fee for Xbox Live, now they want everyone to start getting fibre optic Internet to just be able to buy games?

Ya right, what are they smoking? You know how many people in developed countries don't have cheap access to fast Internet like you have? I have a friend who travels to Estonia often and another who teaches English in Seol, Korea -- they both complain about how much behind the Internet infrastructure/speed vs. pricing are in Canada/US.

Secondly, that's assuming you do nothing else, like no streaming of content or whatever else.

Thirdly, how do you manage to compare Steam games that cost $5-10 at times to console gaming market where games take a long time to drop to $29.99 and even $19.99? Most of us are OK with Steam because it very cheap to buy games on there. If I had to spend $50-60 for a game on the PC every time without PC games drastically dropping in price, I'd at least want the option to resell them as physical media later. When I am buying my games for $5-20, I don't really care for reselling them as they are so cheap to begin with.

Fourthly, a key benefit of consoles is that people can share games with their friends. If you lock games to an account via digital distribution, you are taking away 1 thing that made console gaming and social console gaming experience different from PC gaming. Maybe the new generation of kids doesn't play console games in the living room anymore? I don't know because that's what we did when I had N64 and Goldeneye. So now you are saying it's OK that I can't bring my game to a friend's house and smash some beers and play it on his Xbox? Now he has to buy the same game I have to pay an extra $60 license to the developer?

Finally, some of us want amazing sound and picture quality. So having Blu-Ray capability is a huge bonus. Blu-Ray discs cost $3-4 to make at most, which means manufacturing costs are super cheap. I can't see it being cost effect for MS to sell games on $25 32GB flash cards! That's very expensive.

Alternatively do you think if 20 million people in US start streaming 25-50GB games for the next Xbox that AT&T or Verizon won't start raising prices for Internet as they are choking on massive bandwidth demands imposed on their infrastructure?

If Xbox goes digital only, that also means no backwards compatibility with the previous console.

Suddenly, you have just alienated all these people:

1) People with slow/er Internet;
2) People with low bandwidth caps on Internet;
3) People who want to play CDs/DVDs/Blu-Ray on 1 media device in their house instead of having many devices;
4) Shot backwards compatibility with Xbox360 in the foot;
5) Destroyed the ability to swap/borrow games with your friends (!!!);
6) Single-handily destroyed the used game market (so you want to pay higher prices for games? You are probably the minority);
7) Took away the option from people who want to own physical copies (Right now I can still buy physical PC games if I wanted to).

I have no doubt that the future of gaming eventually will be digital distribution. But if MS at least doesn't allow for games to be shipped on SD cards similar to PS Vita, they will have lost the next generation of console wars before it even started. I bet this rumour is BS.

The world's Internet infrastructure is not ready to have a digital only console when next generation games are likely to grow to 25-50GB in size as a result of more cinematic graphics and even larger textures. Maybe in 10 years when the average household has Internet speeds of 50 MB/sec or faster.

3 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 03/09/12 08:30:53 PM]
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show the post
0 3 [Posted by: PsiAmp  | Date: 03/10/12 01:54:28 AM]
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Ok, just think about these 4 things:

1) 25-50GB games. Do you know how long it will take to download them for most of the world? Day(s).

2) 25-50GB next gen games. Do you know that 20-30 of those fill a 1TB mechanical drive? Have you see how expensive mechanical drives are today? To support online only game purchases, you'd need 3-5TB drives in each console.

3) 25-50GB games on SDXC flash cards = expensive to manufacture. FAR more expensive than making BluRay / or some other proprietary format disc.

4) MS wants to be the entertainment center of your living room. You cannot do that without a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive capability.

Therefore, I am not buying this rumor.

And if they do it, and PS4 has a BluRay drive and physical games, Xbox720 will have lost the console war, guaranteed. Consumers are NOT ready for digital only console considering most of the world's Internet infrastructure is not fast enough, in addition to having bandwidth limits.
5 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 03/10/12 05:17:18 PM]
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Yep, It's dirt cheap to just press a mutant bluray disc and not call it a bluray like the wii does with dvds then use any other media format and download only is an even worse idea.

Let users copy the game disk to the hard drive if speed is an issue and only require it to be insert into the console to play or have one time CD key that locks instal to one account and the ability to install it to the hard drive which I'm sure ea, ubisoft and friends would love
2 0 [Posted by: sollord  | Date: 03/11/12 07:51:59 AM]
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I think that the idea isn't about what is faster, but about people wanting to own something, and owning virtual item isn't just the same as owning a box with disc in it.
1 0 [Posted by: knedle  | Date: 03/10/12 12:52:57 AM]
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With Steam, you don't even own the game. You just buy it as a license to play it. Steam's user agreement even states they can shut down the service any time should they feel like it. Not that it's going to happen, but you have 0 control over any digital distribution content that requires a Digital Platform such as Original or Steam to actually play.

Do we want to give MS the same power? Not as long as Nintendo and Sony offer traditional means to buy used games and buy physical copies.

Not to mention PS4 is launching later than Xbox720 and also has an AMD GPU --> which 100% guarantees PS4 is going to be way more powerful since AMD's GPUs get faster every generation.

Basically, MS's PR is doing a horrible job. All the current rumors of Xbox's shitty GPU, integrated Kinect, no physical disc drives are tarnishing this console before it's even out.

Last time PS3 cost $599 at launch because it was so expensive to manufacture. With price of Blu-Ray having come down so far, MS won't have a $200 price advantage this round.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 03/10/12 05:35:41 PM]
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3rd world = non-soviet not allies
2nd world = soviet
1st world = allied

it's more political than economical

my internet is 1Mb/sec in Egypt, what should I do, wait for a download to take a day or two (if the power doesn't go off)
2 1 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 03/10/12 04:51:47 AM]
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Your statement is political his is stupid!
I live in Bosnia hire there's no anti piracy laws!
Last Xbox went good not for price bat cracks!
When i bay a game i bay it for package and extras and that's what make fun, T-shirt a badge fat printed manual and all sorts of collectible items.
1 0 [Posted by: Zola  | Date: 03/12/12 04:09:38 PM]
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please, what do the things you said have to do with what I said?

Here in egypt there are no anti-piracy laws, it still takes long to DOWNLOAD a pirated game, if a game is download only, it would be extremely hard to pirate it

btw. the first part of my previous comment has nothing to do with the article
0 0 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 03/14/12 02:12:21 PM]
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Nothing! That's way i given yo + ...
0 0 [Posted by: Zola  | Date: 03/14/12 04:25:28 PM]
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3. 
In Win 8 preview there is an app. marked Xbox so that's their thinking one could assume. A tablet or similar as the screen on ones TV/PC unit.
0 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 03/10/12 03:23:40 AM]
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4. 
In what way does the fact they're dropping optical drives suggest anything about downloads? They same source stated they're including a solid-state-based card slot. Get your facts right and don't wildly extrapolate. Guessing isn't news.
1 0 [Posted by: goongoon  | Date: 03/10/12 04:44:05 PM]
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Ya, great point!

There is nothing wrong with giving you the option to buy games online. But there is no way they are not going to sell games in some form of physical medium too.
0 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 03/10/12 05:21:48 PM]
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5. 
This would be stupid on microsofts part. Anyone remember PSP GO? No media drive of any kind and look how well that turned out. That will happen to microsoft if they release a console with no drive of any kind on it.
3 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 03/10/12 08:40:16 PM]
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6. 
ebgames would go out of business and allot of game stores sections in department stores would also be stoped.. its kinda strange that would also kill off the game rental market its not a good idea to stop something that is so critical to the games market as a whole
1 1 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 03/11/12 04:51:58 PM]
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7. 
Definitely not paying 60$ for digitally distributed games, I do not know if I would even pay half that.
And no backwards compatibility? How would they expect to sell the console with just one or two interesting games at launch?

In my opinion this is just a stupid rumor, the world is definitely not ready for such a move.
2 1 [Posted by: Harry Lloyd  | Date: 03/12/12 06:42:09 AM]
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8. 
Maybe stores could still sell games, only on usb sticks or similar instead of dvds. A usb port is much smaller than a disc drive and 8gb flash sticks can be had for £5 today.
0 0 [Posted by: pondermotive  | Date: 03/13/12 01:48:33 AM]
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9. 
First off most of you are idiots. Microsoft will never utilize Blu-Ray disks. Blue-Ray is created by Sony. That would mean that every Xbox sold would give Sony a profit. Im pretty sure Microsoft doesnt want to pay its competetor to use its technology. Not to mention most media is digital now. Look at Blockbuster. Digital media killed them and no one cares. Also to the person acting like the used games market is what keeps the gaming industry afloat is a moron. Microsoft doesn't profit of used games much at all if any. Get ready people its going to happen and Sony has been hinting at this for years so if Microsoft does it Sony will most definately do it too.
0 1 [Posted by: SupErby  | Date: 03/15/12 10:17:23 AM]
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the tiny profit for licensing blu-ray is nothing compared the profits lost by going only digital.

... and digital did not kill blockbuster, blockbuster killed blockbuster by reacting too slowly to netflix pricing scheme. blockbuster was a fat and greedy bitch that liked to rip people off by overcharging for rentals and then draggin them through the hot coals on late fees.

its' not going to happen.. especially when there are more wal-marts in the USA accessible to people than there are high speed broadband connections.
0 0 [Posted by: razblack  | Date: 03/28/12 02:57:35 PM]
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