Video game analyst Michael Pachter offers an interesting response while fielding a question about whether or not the current generation of consoles will last as long as their previous iterations.
Pachter, who is a well-renowned analyst in the world of video games and has a reputation for his shocking predictions about the industry, was asked the question during his latest "Pachter Factor" segment online. The "Pachter Factor" is a video series wherein Pachter makes fascinating, often bold guesses regarding the future of video games, and the newest episode was no different. Pachter had this to say regarding the possibility of a new console release:
"I would be surprised if we had a next-gen console in 2018; we might have one in 2019, so I think 6 years is likely. We will have one by 2020, so I think seven years is a lock."
Pachter's response was prompted by a question regarding the rise of 4K televisions and VR technology and what their increasing prominence means for console gaming, as both technologies demand the highest resolutions possible for the best experience. Despite a previous report that suggested Netflix believed 4K PS4 and Xbox One consoles were coming last year, it doesn't appear that will be the case, which has caused gamers to wonder whether or not a new console cycle would have to be released faster than usual to support the higher resolution. Pachter, however, does not believe that to be the case, partially because of how exclusive 4K televisions are right now:
"So, once everybody has a 4K T.V. I think that's when you get a console cycle where you actually make things that are in 4K."
Given that 4K televisions were still around $799 USD on Black Friday this year, it will likely still be a few years before the technology is ubiquitous in console owner's households. Interestingly enough, Pachter's stance on the console industry as a whole seems to have changed at least slightly, as he previously seemed to believe that the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U represented the last real console cycle.
That being said, however, Pachter has made bold predictions that ended up coming true before. Pachter was one of the first analysts to suggest that the Wii U would be a nonfactor in the current console market and that the PS4 would outsell the Xbox One early after their release, a statement that seems like common sense now but was much less obvious a few years ago. The only thing missing from Pachter's latest prediction is his trademark comedic hyperbole, most famously displayed when he stated that Nintendo was going to "Dreamcast itself" with the Wii U.
If Pachter's thought process holds true, it looks like gamers will still get quite a bit of longevity out of their current consoles. That's likely in part due to the fact that VR technology will be compatible with the current generation, as Sony expects to sell 1.9 million units of PlayStation VR in 2016 alone.
Do you think we'll have consoles earlier than 2020, or perhaps later? How do you feel 4K technology will affect the way the games industry moves forward? Let us know in the comments below.