Games for Microsoft's new Xbox console will be run directly from the hard drive and won't need the original disc to play, the latest leak suggests.

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The reports indicate this is part of Microsoft's beefed-up anti-piracy protection for next-gen.

The next Xbox will come with a hulking hard drive to "hold a large number of games".

"All games will be installed on the hard drive", documentation leaked by VGleaks claimed. "Play from the optical disc will not be supported."

The Verge claimed the information backed up what it knew of the in-development machine. The leak also tallies with Digital Foundry sources' knowledge of the next Xbox's hard drive. A minimum capacity of 500GB has been mooted.

Coupled with that, new references to an "always-on, always connected" console throw weight behind previous rumours that the console will block pre-owned games.

It's easy to imagine a product key system, verified by the console every time a game loads from the hard drive via its always-online nature. Once a game was installed, its disc(s) would become redundant.

The one caveat to this is that, while apparently genuine, the information is dated from last year. It's no surprise that Microsoft is exploring methods of blocking used-games. What remains to be seen is whether such technology makes it into the final machine.

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Images courtesy of VGleaks.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.

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