Microsoft Rumored to Remove Disc Drive from Next Generation Xbox Console

Microsoft isn't too keen on discussing the Xbox 720 or whatever it plans to call its next generation game console, and apparently the Redmond outfit isn't all that keen on optical drives, either. We've heard reports that the next Xbox iteration might ditch optical storage hardware entirely, and now at least one website claims to have confirmed as much with an un-named source.

The source tells MCV that Microsoft's hardware and software partners are under "the strictest NDA" they have ever signed, nevertheless they were willing to leak the fact that the Xbox 720 will ship sans a disc drive. Instead it will use a type of solid-state card storage, though it's unclear if that means it will have a microSD card slot.

Persistent rumors suggest Microsoft will do away with the disc drive when it launches its next generation game console.

So what did Microsoft have to say about this?

"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," Microsoft told MCV.

The implications of this are pretty big. Should Microsoft go through with ditching a disc drive, it would be a major blow to used game retailers like GameStop, and it would equally suck for gamers who sell off their used games on eBay and Craigslist.