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.