news\ Mar 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

Xbox 720 will release in 2013, sources say

It has been confirmed by "sources" that the Xbox 720, or "next Xbox", will release in 2013, allegedly without a disc drive.

According to MCV's sources, who describe the briefings as "the strictest NDA" they've ever encountered, Microsoft has been telling partners that the next-gen Xbox console will launch sometime next year without a disc drive.

Instead, the Xbox 720 will work with "some sort of interchangeable solid-state card storage."  It is unknown if this will be proprietary or a more standard format.

MCV's report conflicts with Kotaku's earlier report which claimed the Xbox 720 will play Blu-ray discs.

In November 2011, Digital Foundry reported that Microsoft has plans to launch two different versions of the Xbox 720: a "pared down machine" likened to a set-top box that will act as a Kinect-themed gaming portal and a more expensive, "more fully-featured machine" with optical drive, hard disk, and backwards compatibility aimed at hardcore gamers and released at a higher price.

If true, MCV's report of a disc-free next-gen Xbox console may relate to the former.

As for the 2013 release date, it's definitely possible

Microsoft has repeatedly stated no new hardware will be revealed this year, denying E3 2012 reveal rumors, but there's definitely enough time and evidence pointing towards a possible 2013 reveal and release.  Last week, a Crytek technical designer inadvertently spoiled a secreted Xbox 720 meeting which allegedly took place in London.

Meanwhile, Scott Steinberg, marketing expert and industry analyst at TechSavvy Global, told Industry Gamers that consumers will "probably" start to see new systems from Microsoft in 2013 or 2014.

There have been a ton of rumors regarding the Xbox 720, ranging from release date to actual features.  We've put together an Xbox 720 rumor-round up gathering all of the latest speculations and hearsay.

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