"Games industry sources" are taking advantage of the slow January news period and have run away with themselves, putting 22 and 2 together and coming up with 'details' regarding next-generation consoles to anyone who will listen.
Today, this came to a head as a report on Kotaku
shotguns a number of wild speculative 'facts' about the next Xbox device.
According to "sources," Microsoft will adopt Blu-ray discs, will introduce Kinect 2 and will implement measures to allow its next console to refuse pre-owned software. "I've heard from one reliable industry source that Microsoft intends to incorporate some sort of anti-used game system as part of their so-called Xbox 720," reads the report, while stating that said source hasn't a clue as to how such a system would be incorporated. Hmm.
Of course, the story was picked up by Wired
, which chimed in - using absolutely no sources whatsoever - with the idea that consoles are imminently heading for a disc-less future. "The success of digital-only, one-owner games on PC, phones, tablets and social networks must surely be helping to change consumers’ attitudes about what a game system is “supposed” to do," it reads.
"So as soon as Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo et al. think they can get away with it, the disc or cartridge will simply disappear, replaced entirely by digital game sales. What we are possibly looking at now is an interim period in which the disc as a delivery method is still around but it becomes more like a PC game, which are sold with one-time-use keys that grant one owner a license to play the game on his machine."
Sounds great. Except nations such as India, China and many others don't have mega fast broadband access for the majority of its citizens, making such a move absolutely pointless in a global market. Microsoft is traditionally known for its standard practice of "wait and see" when it comes to emerging technologies as well. If it makes the first move it would be uncharacteristic.
What do we actually know, then? Wired provides the perfect answer in response to a different question - "What happens to the sales figures of new games when they can’t [part-exchange for old games] anymore? Nobody knows."