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Countdown to E3 2012: Sony Playstation 4 Won’t Be Download-only – Will We Get the Facts at the Expo?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo runs between the 5th and 7th of June and the Gadget Helpline will be following all the major hardware and software announcements from big industry names such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony – as well as offering a Daily Recap on many areas of this year’s show!

We’ve had to face up to the fact that both Sony and Microsoft won’t be bringing any new toys to the E3 in Los Angeles but should we give up hope on any more news or official confirmation on the existence of either the Playstation 4 – or “Orbis” as it’s believed to be codenamed, or the Xbox 720 aka “Durango”?

Today there has been more discussion about the absence of a physical disc drive within Sony’s next console offering and it’s now thought that a previous rumour may now be untrue and that yes – there will be an optical disc drive and Blu-Ray player in addition to downloadable games and content and play directly from cloud-based internet.

Another amusing mock-up of what Sony's PS4 could look like.

The reason for the removal of a disc drive in Sony’s PS4 would cut the cost of producing actual games which are no longer really necessary, much to the upset of high street retailers and trade-in shops such as GAME which recently suffered a painful fate in part due to the new trend for downloading titles rather than buying them. It’s also suggested by an “insider source” (aren’t they all?) – that the PS4 would have great trouble shifting high-demand and graphically immense games across the web where a disc reader, despite having a hefty loading time on some games, is still the most effective method of getting content to screen.

It’s all starting to get a little complicated to follow isn’t it? So we’re really hoping that on the biggest stage in the gaming and entertainment calendar that part of Sony’s appearance at the E3 is used to cover some of these burning questions that are currently become out of control speculation and rumour-mongering. Contrary to what both Sony and Microsoft have officially stated so far about the existence – or non-existence, as it stands – of their future consoles it seems the evidence (and verbal gaffs by high-profile execs in some cases) suggests otherwise and the Playstation 4 and Xbox 720 could both be well into production.

We welcome your thoughts and comments on the E3 event so far and invite you to do so below this article, on The Gadget Helpline on Facebook or via our Twitter @Gadget_Helpline!