According to MCV, Microsoft has been telling its partners that their next console will not include a disc drive, but instead rely on digital content stored on interchangeable solid-state card storage. Assuming this proves to be true, not only is this a big step for consoles, it’s also an inevitable one and falls in line with the earlier rumor that the next Xbox won’t support used games. MCV’s source was also able to confirm a 2013 launch date for the console. It’s already been rumored that that the company could reveal the console at E3 2012 in just a few months.

Microsoft has issued a statement in response to the MCV article.

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.

That certainly sounds like the story could be true. We all know that physical media is going the way of the dinosaur but I honestly didn’t think it would be this soon. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see how certain things – such as game rentals – are handled in an all-digital world.

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