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Rumor: Microsoft to eliminate disc drives for Xbox 720, slated for 2013 launch

In the latest rumor surrounding the Xbox 720 console, Microsoft has purportedly planned to do away with disc drive systems, MVC reports.

Despite a strict NDA after a secret briefing at an undisclosed location in London, MVC’s source has informed the UK publication that Xbox games and applications will be made available only for downloading, but will integrate the use of removable solid-state cards for storage.

If these rumors hold true, coupled with a purported disc-less PS4, the novelty of owning cases and its manuals will be a fading reality. On the other hand, with the onset of this trend, the third-party gaming retail shops, particularly Gamestop and UK’s GAME, will be forced to pivot their strategy or face an alarming wake-up call due to rapidly declining sales.

One individual helping to erode physical game sales has been Gabe Newell, the newest video game billionaire and co-founder of Valve. With the introduction of its cloud-based distribution network, Steam, Valve has virtually taken away the physical game retailer’s PC game-selling business – a fact that has Gamestop’s employees scorning Newell.

The debut of the PS4 is reportedly slated for E3 2012, while Microsoft has repeatedly denied that the Xbox 720 unveiling will occur in 2012. MVC claims the Xbox 720 launch date is set for 2013.