If you pay attention to gossip about Microsoft’s next-generation game console, you’ve probably noticed a trend—in any given rumor to emerge, there’s usually a lot of rehashed material surrounding one or two genuinely original bits of “news.”
The latest from gaming blog Gaming Capacity, citing an unnamed source who’s had “hands-on time with the new Xbox console prototype,” follows that pattern. Tech specs we’ve more or less seen from other sites before? Check. Vague hints that the next-gen Xbox will make a big splash at E3 and even vaguer hints about a “holiday 2013″ launch? Double check.
But squeezed between that ho-hum material is a bombshell. Microsoft, the source tells Gaming Capacity, will not use a Blu-ray player in its next game console, often referenced by its internal code name, Durango.
To put it mildly, that would be a bizarre decision by Microsoft, as Tech Radar and sister site Games Radar noted Tuesday.
Microsoft opted not to support Blu-ray with the Xbox 360. That’s proven to be one of the major drawbacks for an otherwise wildly successful product, hampering Redmond’s efforts to pitch its current gaming console as a general-purpose entertainment system.
GamesRadar GamesRadar managing editor Tom Magrino went so far as to say that “there is a zero percent chance that the next Xbox will ship without a Blu-ray player,” which he described as “the future of physical media.”
The only chance, a slim one, that this is true is if Microsoft is making an extremely bold play to remove physical media from its next-gen console entirely, Magrino posited. Cloud-based streaming services may be maturing faster than most of us expected—and most industry watchers now anticipate that the next-gen Xbox will leverage online content like never before—but probably not fast enough to allow for the complete removal of physical media playback in a product due out this year.
For what it’s worth, here are the rest of the rumored Durango news served up by Gaming Capacity:
- While no confirmation on an announcement date, E3 will be “Party Central” in the Xbox booth
- The new ’720′ will have 3x the processing speed of the current 360
- No hard release date but it looks like Holiday 2013
- 2 launch versions. 320 GB Arcade / 500 GB Pro. Exact pricing is unknown
- 1 TB HDD available as a separate purchase
- It will not include Blu-Ray
- No picture was available as prototype consoles are packaged in a 360 slim case to “avoid complications” about the design until announcement
- Tech Specs: AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, Direct3d 11.x 800MHz GPU, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM
- Xbox Smartglass is still a feature in use
- No word on Kinect 2.0
- No word on “Immersive” technology being implemented
For more, check out Rumor: Microsoft to Raise Curtain on Next-Gen Xbox in April, Report: Cops Raid Xbox Leaker’s Home, and
Rumor: Next Xbox Tied at the Hip to New, Improved Kinect, as well as New Xbox Rumors Same as the Old Rumors.
By Damon Poeter, PCMag