Microsoft's next-generation gaming console will offer a Blu-ray drive according to a new rumour concerning the so-called Xbox 720.
Games industry rumour mill VG247 said that Microsoft's unannounced next-gen Xbox is set for a Christmas 2013 release and that the device would offer a Blu-ray optical drive versus the vanilla DVD drive in the current Xbox 360.
Sony took a gamble with the original PlayStation 3, bundling the high-capacity fledgling Blu-ray drive into the console, jacking up the price considerably over the rival Xbox. At one point Microsoft even offered an external drive (pictured) for the Xbox 360, sporting the HD-DVD loser in the optical standards war.
The DVD vs Blu-ray specifications choice wasn't such a clear cut thing with the Xbox benefiting from faster seek times which often helped game loading speeds over the sluggish PlayStation 3 Blu-ray drive.
However as games ballooned in complexity and size, the Xbox 360 has struggled with the meager size of the built-in DVD drive and games often come on more than one disc, requiring installation to the internal hard drive. Little wonder then that the company may have been forced to eat humble pie, at least of the rumour turns out to be true.
Several sites have also reported that the Xbox 720 will be fitted with AMD hardware for the CPU and the GPU. VG247 claims that sources have revealed the new Microsoft console will offer a dual GPU configuration based on graphics parts the equivalent of AMD's new 7000 series.
Other rumours have suggested that the console will require an always-on internet connection for game validation as an anti-piracy measure and that second hand games would be banned from the platform.The popular Kinect motion controller peripheral will also be built in, VG247 said.
Doubtless to avoid spoiling the existing vibrant Xbox 360 market, the company isn't expected to announce anything until next year.