There’s no doubt that the Xbox 360 is a console with lots of life left to give, and Microsoft has echoed such thoughts during a recent interview. Since its launch in 2006, the Xbox 360 has been on the forefront of the entertainment industry, rising through old hardware problems like the infamous red-ring of death failure rates. The peak of the console’s entertainment abilities seemed to culminate with the announcement of Kinect more than a year ago, bringing in an entire new style of play for an entirely different demographic. According to Xbox MEA Vice President Chris Lewis however, we’re only about halfway through the lifecycle of the Xbox 360, and more is yet to come.
The statement came from an interview with MCV when he was asked whether the Xbox is in the late-stage of its growing cycle. Rumors have been building up over the last year or so that seem to indicate that Microsoft may be preparing to announce their next-generation console at some point next year, possibly unveiling the Xbox 720 at E3 2012. While rather abrupt in phrasing, Lewis assures that the Xbox360 isn’t around the ending stages of its life, but merely about fifty percent:
“We see it as about halfway through. But yes you are right, Xbox is defying the normal curve you might expect. There’s no doubt that Kinect put a huge shot of adrenaline into the business.”
While no console can quite defy the curves like the PlayStation 2, the impact Kinect has had on not only Microsoft but gaming in general has been a tremendous development. The ability to patch Kinect into the older generation of Xbox 360 has helped push the lifecycle forward a few years for the now 5 year-old (coming up on 6 year-old) console. Given that Nintendo is revving up the Wii U in an attempt to take the lead for the next console generation, rumors are already rife about the potential upcoming release of a new Xbox. That said, it’s good to know those with the older consoles won’t be left in the dark – after all, Microsoft’s motion gamble is all about bringing in families and casual gamers.
“What we are now seeing is massive swathes of families and younger audiences flocking to it. As you saw at the press conference, we are now in line with what we projected at E3 2010.”
With lots of kid-friendly Kinect titles revealed at their E3 2011 conference, Microsoft is building up an attractive selection of kid-friendly motion experiences that will be giving Nintendo a good run for their money. Lewis also commented that while they focus on the core child-friendly titles, they would also be producing some ‘complementary’ titles for hardcore gamers:
“What you will see is us using Kinect to enhance the experience and not detract from it. I don’t think our core gamers will tolerate anything else from us.”
It’s a pretty obvious statement – simple alterations like voice-commands in Mass Effect 3 wowed gamers with not only their simplicity, but the impact that has with the integration of the game. While hardcore gamers would love to see some of their favorite series move over to Kinect, it may be some time before the technology is developed enough to have a satisfying shooter move over to the mobile leagues.
What do you think about the Xbox 360 lifecycle? Do you see it being an active console for another 4 or so more years?