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Microsoft 'yanked optical drive from Xbox 720'

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Microsoft's next Xbox - whatever it's called - will not feature an optical disc drive, moles have claimed. Instead, it will gain games by downloads and possibly on memory cards too.

Allegedly breaking one of the "strictest NDA" contracts ever encountered, the insiders said the console will indeed be launched in 2013, as rumoured, with a type of removable solid-state storage rather than the DVD format of yesteryear, MCV reports.

The news that console manufacturers could turn their backs on discs is worrying for already struggling high street outlets, such as Game, which may have to hope that punters will prefer to buy games on memory cards rather that suffer long download times, in order to ease its business troubles.

Microsoft declined to comment on the claims, but did release an ambiguous statement on console lifecycles:

"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 rumours or speculation.” ®

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