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Old 03-09-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
fitbabits
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[Rumor] Next Xbox Abandoning Optical Media, Launching 2013

The days of multiple disc packs for Xbox titles may soon be over, if a report on MCV pans out. The dreaded 'unnamed source' card is being played here, but with the reputation that MCV has in the industry, this one carries a little more weight:

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MCV has learnt that Microsoft has been telling partners that the Next Xbox will NOT include a disc drive.

The briefings have been issued under what MCV’s source describes as “the strictest NDA” they have ever encountered.

Although the console will not include a disc drive, it 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.
Also being reported by MCV is a 2013 launch date for Microsoft's new console:

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Furthermore, a 2013 launch date for the hardware has been confirmed. What is less clear, however, is the intended timing of Microsoft’s announcement.
I suspect there may be some kind of formal announcement at this year's E3 as the rumors are coming hot and heavy.

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Old 03-09-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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4th time between the 360 and the 720 this has been rumored, not including the other systems and their rumors past and present. I don't know who to believe! MCV doesn't seem any more reputable than the hundreds of others that have reported this, to me at least. But it is one more voice in the dark crying out about it.
The reason I can see this is it also fits into the past "no used games" rumours that have cropped up on the 720 list, as well as the PS3 list back in the day.

If MS had a streaming(onlive style)+ DD front end storefront, smaller console, I could see it being very interesting.

This actually fits with the older rumor of 2 devices. One very small set-top and one gaming system.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
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Wouldn't that make the storage prohibitively expensive to produce? That would also kill BC unless they offer a DVD add on to play old games. I don't buy it.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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Wouldn't that make the storage prohibitively expensive to produce? That would also kill BC unless they offer a DVD add on to play old games. I don't buy it.
Agreed. Thats why I think it fits a bit more with the older rumour of 2 devices. A set-top Kinect/Xboxlive style device with media capabilities for streaming and DD services.

And full console.

The unique thing is that this generation no matter what the Big 3 do, its a big turning point in how media is delivered, current competition and so forth. I have a feeling each of the big 3 is going to be missing and containing some vital pieces. More to separate them as machines than in the past gen.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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My first instinct was: this ain't happening. But then I thought about it for a sec. The rumor isn't saying there won't be physical media, just that the media won't be optical. You can get large capacity solid state media (20+ GB) for relatively cheap now. Sell the games on those, and you get the bonus (from the publisher's perspective) of locking those games to a system. You can still sell the games digitally for those who have the connections for it, but you can sell the games on flash cards at Gamestop or Best Buy for those who can't. Maybe you could even put game download stations in supermarkets to let people buy games on the spot using their own cards.

I'm still not sure I believe it, but it's not that implausible.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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all rumors until MS comes out with it. not too concerned.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
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Wouldn't that make the storage prohibitively expensive to produce? That would also kill BC unless they offer a DVD add on to play old games. I don't buy it.
I also don't see a DVD add-on happening, but I DO see a model that includes a DVD drive for backward compatibility and of course DVD video playback.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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My first instinct was: this ain't happening. But then I thought about it for a sec. The rumor isn't saying there won't be physical media, just that the media won't be optical. You can get large capacity solid state media (20+ GB) for relatively cheap now. Sell the games on those, and you get the bonus (from the publisher's perspective) of locking those games to a system. You can still sell the games digitally for those who have the connections for it, but you can sell the games on flash cards at Gamestop or Best Buy for those who can't. Maybe you could even put game download stations in supermarkets to let people buy games on the spot using their own cards.

I'm still not sure I believe it, but it's not that implausible.
Yes sir. All good points and since it points out that something for physical media will be there, it seems possible. I personally like the idea of some kind of thing SD card for games. Seems safer to me, no disks getting scratched by systems and so forth.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:47 AM   #9
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I can't see them throwing away a decade's worth of games for something quite expensive and frankly, not that great an idea. I like digital download services when I can make my own personal backups of the data instead of leaving it in the hands of a company and I don't see any of the big three opening up their consoles to that extent in the future.

Why does this rumour never seem to die?

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Yes sir. All good points and since it points out that something for physical media will be there, it seems possible. I personally like the idea of some kind of thing SD card for games. Seems safer to me, no disks getting scratched by systems and so forth.
The issue with that is that you end up with the same nonsense we're seeing with the Vita: Proprietary formats and stupid pricing.

Edit: The 3DS too.

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Old 03-09-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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Considering that pretty much all dataplans in Canada are currently capped and the average cap is around 60gb monthly, I can't see it happening.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:55 AM   #11
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Is the cost of the physical cards needed for games the size they would likely be even practical? That's the largest road block I can think of.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:01 AM   #12
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A quick look on Amazon says that 32GB of memory - flash drive or SD - will retail for about $25-$30 per and 16GB will cost about $15 per. Lets say that MS buying in bulk could get them for half, so $8 and $16 for 16GB and 32GB respectively. That's a lot compared to the $0.50 they pay per DVD now, or $2 per BR.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:08 AM   #13
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Is the cost of the physical cards needed for games the size they would likely be even practical? That's the largest road block I can think of.
More expensive by a good margin. That's if you used the ones sold currently. But something made specifically for this, who knows. No matter what it would be more expensive on the card. However, no one knows what they would use or what deals they have. For instance many of the current cards are FAR in excess of what is needed for 80% of games. So perhaps they are thinking of some way to use smaller 8-10gig cards versus the normal 16gb sold now. Then increase it if games get larger. Who knows but if anyone has a way to get a massive in bulk cheap deal its probably MS. They got the money to toss around. That's if this is true and not just the same old tired rumor for the 4th or 5th time.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:23 AM   #14
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If the next gen skips physical media, I personally see no reason not to go forgo it altogether and game with a PC instead. I refuse to get locked down by the monopolies Sony and MS have on their digital marketplaces!
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:28 AM   #15
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Hmmm Beyond3D has some interesting price differences between actual SD and the SD that would be used for games(nonRW) and there are some savings there.(actually someone else debunks this on the site) not sure who to believe and I don't know much about SD media. They also broke down the savings with no dvd/BR in the system both in price per unit, but space, heat and so forth. Its more interesting than I thought now.

Offering both DD and SDnonRW versions of your games...

Also on the website in various places they talk about some compressions that could be run that can't be run on disks due to the way a disk is written out which would allow for compressing game data and uncompressing it while the player is getting through the first parts of a title as its installing to the harddrive. This is more and more interesting and does get passed some of the things that even a VERY fast disk drive can't.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:29 AM   #16
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If the next gen skips physical media, I personally see no reason not to go forgo it altogether and game with a PC instead. I refuse to get locked down by the monopolies Sony and MS have on their digital marketplaces!
They aren't. Looks to be no diskdrive but some kind of proprietary SD card.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DoctorFinger View Post
A quick look on Amazon says that 32GB of memory - flash drive or SD - will retail for about $25-$30 per and 16GB will cost about $15 per. Lets say that MS buying in bulk could get them for half, so $8 and $16 for 16GB and 32GB respectively. That's a lot compared to the $0.50 they pay per DVD now, or $2 per BR.
It's important to note, though, that those are costs for rewritable media. ROM is always cheaper.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:33 AM   #18
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Maybe this is the generation where I'll finally get a machine that lets me put in multiple pieces of media or doesn't require it at all so I don't have to get off the couch every time someone wants to play a different game :P
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #19
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I can't imagine that they would actually use SD cards or an equivalent for game storage. That would certainly drive up costs, as Doc pointed out. What would be the benefit of doing this? There are clear benefits for the Vita, but I don't see the benefits for a home system. I guess reduced load times, but is that worth the increased cost?

Edit - Something else to consider is the size of SD cards. It would be ridiculously easy to lose a $60 game, and it would be very unfriendly for children.

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:46 AM   #20
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I can't imagine that they would actually use SD cards or an equivalent for game storage. That would certainly drive up costs, as Doc pointed out. What would be the benefit of doing this? There are clear benefits for the Vita, but I don't see the benefits for a home system. I guess reduced load times, but is that worth the increased cost?
Reduced load, new ways to get data and compress, faster seeks, pretty big physical space difference(Yes even a slim DVD or BR) inside a system, heat, watts both small benefits, cost is a big factor as well when talking about in the system cost of a DVD. Also SD versus rom's have some savings attached.

Since you could have encryptions to stop used games on a SD/ROM, this MAY in some way fit into the pubs and devs being promised "no used games". So somewhat like digital games(can't be sold at gamestop) but still on store bought media.

A good deal of this all fits simply due to the fact that MS/Sony can't make a good deal of the jumps in tech they would like to with watts and heat being such a big concern in a small box. This is just another way to minimize that. Unique idea. Just not sure its a good one yet.
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