June 30, 2012
Next Xbox code named “Durango” may not have a disc drive
According to MCV Microsoft is telling their partners that the next installation of the Xbox will do away with the optical disc drive. Its not likely to completly do away with physical media just yet though. Rumor has it that instead of a disc drive the next Xbox will utilize solid state storage, i.e. an SD card, MicroSD etc. etc. Whats not being talked about is exactly the type of media that will be used, whether Microsoft uses proprietary memory cards or a pre-existing format is unknown.
What does this mean to the consumer? The affects could vary but this is no doubt a move to eradicate the used games market, a factor that has been highly controversial in the gaming development world, more so lately it seems. With the card storage still being floating rumor its unclear how it would be used exactly. If it were to simply replace a disc that would defeat the purpose of any attempt to cut down on used game sales. Its more likely that the cards will have more than one function one of which could be to circumvent issues that arise with consumers that either dont have access to or choose not to purchase broadband internet. This is a huge issue to be taken seriously, if Microsoft does away with a disc drive and reverts to download only content they would be excluding those without the means to download a 5-10GB game, without some sort of alternate method this will create huge waves. However the biggest issue will likely be the fact that this will add cost to playing your games, unless you already have broadband internet you will be forced to either pay extra for broadband or simply miss out on the next gen Xbox. One wishfull thought I’ve got about this though is that with the money saved with digital distribution hopefully the cost of games would go down, however unlikely that may be.
What are you thoughts? would you be ok with being forced to have broadband? or having your option to save some coin on a used game taken away?