Report: Xbox 720 to Launch in 2013 Without Disc Drive

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There were some rumors stirred up this morning by the UK-based site MCV concerning Microsoft’s next console. According to the site, the “Xbox 720” will launch in 2013, sans-disc drive.

Moving on, MCV states that Microsoft has been briefing its various partners under “the strictest NDA”, making it somewhat reasonable to assume that the wheels are finally turning and Microsoft is ready to embrace the next generation with its third Xbox console. After all, this NDA is “the strictest they have encountered”, according to CVG.

Furthermore, MCV says that the next Xbox console will “offer compatibility with some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage, although it is not known whether this will be proprietary or a more standard format such as SD”.

This actually makes some sense, particularly if the Xbox 720 utilizes some form of Cloud-based storage for Xbox Live members in addition to the SD/USB storage devices (which is currently being done on the Xbox 360 anyway). In general, using a common format for the sake of convenience is definitely the best route for the consumer…although, maybe not so much Microsoft. I would imagine they saw a decent chunk of profit from selling all those overpriced, expanded hard drives and pesky transfer cables over the last few years.

Microsoft has issued a response to MCV’s report, but it is as dry and mechanical as you would expect: “Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships.

“We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation.”

Fair enough; I guess we will see about all of that come summer, when E3 rolls around and the second half of 2012 starts to unfold. Until then, keep checking back on Game Freaks 365 for any follow-up news related to this report, and the “Xbox 720” in general. If any rumors turn out to be substantial, we will let you know immediately.