This one has us floored, it seems that MCV has come across information that would indicate that Microsoft is planning to drop disc drives in their next Xbox console. It appears that in highly confidential briefs, Microsoft has began telling its partners that the next Xbox will not include an optical disc drive. Without a disc drive, it appears that Microsoft would be looking to use some kind of easily removable and interchangeable solid-state card storage system, though at this point it’s not clear whether it would be proprietary or a more standard format like SD. They went on to say that a launch date of 2013 has been confirmed, though it’s not yet clear how or when Microsoft would officially announce the device, though E3 2012 is still a possibility.
If Microsoft really did forgo an optical disc drive, the new format would have to be comparable in cost and performance. At this point, the console race is very tight and a misstep could be devastating. If this new format ran into any major issues, it could spell doom for Microsoft. At this point, most people are surmising that it would be the end of the used game market. I absolutely disagree, I don’t think that the used game market is here to stay, it may change but it won’t go away. Whether developers and publisher like it or not, the used game market is essential to the industry now. In times like these gamers have less excess income and are therefore getting a lot more picky about what they buy. Through companies like Gamestop’s trade in program they are able to get some value for games they no longer play and then use that toward getting new games. If they did find some way to cut out the used game market, I think the industry would be taking a step back, not forward.