Xbox 720 will not have a disc drive

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console will not feature a disc drive, which suggests that digital downloads are the way to go, a reality which could cause devastation to already struggling brick-and-mortar game stores.

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console will not feature a disc drive, which suggests that digital downloads are the way to go, a reality which could cause devastation to already struggling brick-and-mortar game stores.

 
Gaming news site MCV cited sources close to the Redmond, Washington-based company, who revealed that they had to agree to a strict non-disclosure agreement. Not that this has stopped them spilling the beans, but it suggests that Microsoft is planning some exciting features for its rival to Nintendo's Wii U.
 
The console, due at the end of 2013, is expected to come with a solid-state card storage of some kind, but with no disc drive the Xbox 720 presents a few challenges. For example, users will not be able to play old Xbox games that are on a disc, assuming Microsoft intends any backwards-compatibility at all. With the Wii U allowing Wii games to be played this will be a major setback for Microsoft.
 
 Xbox 720 will not have a disc drive
 
Another problem is how users will actually buy their games. While many, if not most, gamers have internet access now, some may still suffer with slow download speeds, which would make downloading several gigabytes of a game incredibly frustrating. Add to that the fact that some ISPs charge fees when users go over a certain download limit every month and it could be a bad idea for Microsoft to ditch the old-fashioned game disc option.
 
A bigger problem for the wider gaming industry is that this will make it difficult for game shops to survive. GAME in the UK is already facing the possibility of closing its hundreds of stores. Having no games to sell will ensure that others follow suit.
 
Either way it is an interesting possibility and could certainly make the Xbox 720 unique compared to its rivals. Microsoft refused to confirm the rumour, saying only that is is looking for new ways to “defy the lifecycle convention” that existing consoles face.
 
Source: MCV