While only a rumour at this stage (darn those rumours…), MCV have posted a story stating that the next gen Xbox (hereby christened 720 by this author because he’s lazy) will NOT have a disc drive, instead possibly relying on the oh-so-popular games on demand. That’s the Games on Demand that charges double the price for games you can buy in the shops for much less (see: Bioshock, Kane & Lynch, etc.)
Read the story at these beautiful underlined words here and feel the gaming venom rise up from within you.
Now, while this is only this humble writers opinion, I can’t help but feel this is a negative step back for the 720. As well as being subject to Microsoft’s pricing when it comes to games, which I already highlighted above as being a sticking point for gamers, it also would eliminate backwards compatibility, which pissed off many PS3 users. Of course, the only solution to having a non-disc drive machine but have that function would be to sell a device to plug into the machine, which of course would smack of money-grabbing tactics and STILL piss off the gaming community.
What’s even more concerning for those who share that viewpoint is that in an update by the article, Microsoft didn’t outwardly deny such a possibility, instead touting the also (sarcasm mode activated) Highly Popular additions such as Kinect and the new dashboard and entertainment facilities.
Of course, this could all be the cynic in me sniffing at new developments in technology, and fearing the new 720 as some sort of techn0-beast eating my cash. The other side to look at it is, as Microsoft will surely tout, that it is a new step in an innovative new generation of gaming. Steam is getting popular, Games on Demand has started producing exclusive titles such as Crysis and Resident Evil 4 and even smart phone apps are big business. The seemingly hassle-free nature of downloadable content IS the future, but it will be hard to make the jump for some.
So, good idea of horror of horrors? What do you think…