Possible rumors suggests that both Microsoft and Sony aren’t going to release their new gaming console until possibly later in 2014, and not earlier in 2012 or 2013 as would have been expected. If history is a good indicator, most gaming consoles only have an average life span of five years before a new successor is launched. For example, Microsoft launched its first Xbox in 2001 and later Xbox 360 was launched four years later in 2005. Similarly, Sony launched its Playstation 2 in 2000 with its successor Playstation 3 five years later in 2006. Because of the durability and flexibility of the current generation gaming consoles, it is hinted that both companies, Microsoft and Sony, are aiming for a 10-year life cycle. If the next generation console were to be launched in 2014, the Xbox 360 would have been around for nine years, while the PS3 would reach eight years.
Senior director of corporate communications for Sony Computer Entertainment, Patrick Seybold, stated that he believes its latest consoles can last over a ten-year span, refuting the traditional 5-year lifecycle for consoles.
Similar to Sony, Microsoft also hinted in the same direction for the new 10-year life span of its latest game console. Senior director for Microsoft, David Hufford, indicated that the Xbox 360 would have a longer life shelf than its predecessor. Upgrades to the Xbox 360 through software and hardware tweeks, such as the add-on Project Natal, have helped Xbox’s longevity.
Electronic Arts’ CFO Eric Brown also agrees that there is not much room for improvements in the current console market. He believes there is no reason for Microsoft or Sony to release a new version anytime soon. A multibillion-dollar investment in a next generation console would have to be a huge game changer compared to the current platform.
Nintendo, on the other hand, is taking on a different direction on its Wii console. It is believed the next generation Wii2 will be out sooner, sometime this year or the next in 2012. However, not everyone believes the new generation Wii will become a major hit. Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush, stated that the chances of Wii 2 having much success beyond a launch date of 2011 would be minimal. One of the reasons is HD support, which Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have already been implemented into their consoles. Nintendo is way behind the game and Pachter does not see them recovering in the near future.
What do you think, will Nintendo’s Wii 2 have strong sales because of their earlier launch date ? Should the new Xbox 720 and PS4 come out earlier, or do you think the current generation of consoles can still run it fine ?