One of Microsoft's development partners has allegedly leaked information on the new console's hardware and release window.
According to a new report, Microsoft's next console (codename: Durango) will not use a disc drive. That means no DVDs, and no Blu-ray. Instead, the machine will employ "interchangeable solid-state card storage," though whether these will be a standard format like SD or CF instead of some new proprietary card is still unknown. But that's not all this anonymous little squealer squealed, according to the leak, a 2013 release is 100% confirmed.
The account supposedly heads our way from one of Microsoft's development partners, which they supposedly got straight from the company itself, packaged with "the strictest nondisclosure agreement" the source has ever encountered (though apparently not strict enough to keep him or her from blabber-mouthing).
Microsoft released an official response to the claims, though, as you can probably imagine, it wasn't very informative. Still, there are a few derivative ways to read into it if you dig on that sort of thing.
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.
While we're still in Rumor-land-istan for now, this newest report could be seen by some as fitting nicely alongside some other accounts of Microsoft's new system. First came the report that Microsoft would be releasing two very different versions of their next console: one, a cheap Kinect, app, and download-driven set-top box, and the other, a more robust "core gamer" machine. Then, there was the claim of the new Xbox using Blu-ray. Putting those two ideas together could mean that the "core Xbox" will run Blu-ray physical media, while the "casual Xbox" could be for streaming and downloads only. Then again, any one of these reports (or all of them) could be flat out wrong. The only way to find out will be when Microsoft finally shows us the darn thing.