Xbox 2- no hard drive for you!

Well, just when you think we have game console hardware figured out, Microsoft pulls a weird one out of their bag of tricks. Apparently, they have no intention of providing a hard drive in their next generation of Xboxes.

Even stranger though, MS has decided that they are going make this version of game system a PC instead of console. Not only will this affect the hardware that you end up with, but your media capabilities as well.

The standard Xbox Next will not include a hard drive, which will allow Microsoft to cut costs on this basic unit. Xbox Next HD, as you might imagine, does include a hard drive and will offer increased functionality based on this. Xbox Next PC is, according to the presentation, an entry-level PC that runs Windows and all standard PC software. It also includes CD Burner, Wireless keyboard, mouse and controller and will work best connected to a high-definition TV or PC monitor. Media Center functionality – like movies, music and photos – is also included. The device will also play most available PC games.

System outline specifications note that internet browsing and instant messaging would be key applications, and that the entire unit will be smaller than the current Xbox, although it will not be possible to upgrade the shipping memory or processor.