Next Xbox to have no disc drive?

There’s one heck of a rumor coming out from MCV today. The site is reporting that Microsoft’s next Xbox will not feature a disc drive.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the system will go digital-only, though. Apparently it will use interchangeable solid-state card storage, though MCV doesn’t know if this means proprietary or a more standard format such as SD. The site’s source claims that “the strictest NDA (non-disclosure agreement)” was issued to in-the-know individuals, one of which is its source.

A 2013 release was also suggested, though it was left unclear as to if the new system would be announced at E3 2012.

A Microsoft statement issued to the site read: “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.”

Could the company really be looking to push out retail with this latest rumor? A new Xbox with no discs could spell doom for already-struggling outlets like Game Group. Then again, retailer chains like this are needed to actually sell the thing.