Next-gen Xbox discs may be useless after hard drive game installs

Credit: Raymond Wong/DVICE

To ban used games from a console, or not to ban used games from a console? That is the question that Microsoft is considering for its next-gen Xbox. A new leak from VGLeaks and corroborated by The Verge's sources suggest that Microsoft could be very serious about an "always on, always connected" online next-gen Xbox that ties physical copies of games to a single console.

According to leaked Xbox Development kit screenshots obtained by VGLeaks, the next Xbox will "be ready instantly when users want to play, and will always maintain a network connection so that the console and games are always current." The document also states there will be "no waiting for the console to restart or install updates."

But the most jarring part of the leaked slide states:

"All games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported.
Durango consoles will have a Blu-ray Disc drive. Disc media will be used for distribution, but during gameplay, games will not use content from the optical disc. An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive rather than waiting until installation is complete."

If we're interpreting that correctly, the next Xbox won't be able to read data off optical discs once games have been installed on a specific console's hard drive, which matches the "discs are watermarked" blurb that Eidos president Ian Livingstone told MCV India last month.

Additionally, as previously reported, the leaked document claims every new Xbox will be sold with a "high-fidelity Kinect sensor, which will be required for the system to operate." The new Kinect is said to capable of providing HD video using a new depth sensor and works better under low light conditions, as well as in smaller spaces (two issues that users complained about with original Kinect).

The evidence seems damning (if it's legitimate), but until Microsoft actually states it all to be true, the info could be outdated, especially since Sony has made it clear it won't be blocking used games on its PlayStation 4. Details on the next Xbox should become clearer at E3 this June.

VGLeaks, via The Verge

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