At the beginning of every console generation, there is always a discussion about how long a publisher will support a system. Companies often make wild claims about how long a generation will be around, both reassuring developers and consumers that they won’t need to upgrade their hardware any time soon. There was talk when the PlayStation 3 came out that it was going to be “future-proof” and would be around for ten years. Not even six years later, the console’s predecessor is getting ready for launch – though, that doesn’t mean that Sony won’t still support the PS3 for years to come.
In an interview with GamesIndustry, Craig Flannagan, Microsoft Canada’s Director of Xbox Marketing said:
“We’re probably here for a while because we’re built for the future. This is a console that will last you, conservatively a decade, if I had to put a bet down today.”
Many in the industry think that this generation will indeed last longer than the previous one – and may even be the last console generation ever. The real problem with these guesstimates is that a console’s lifespan is rarely in the hands of their makers – as much as they would like that control. Instead, a generation’s shift is often decided by competitors and the market. Gaming is in an increasingly complex landscape with ever improving graphical capabilities, mobile gaming, the re-emergence of PC gaming, and the Steam Machine (which is an upgradable console) all threatening the existence of standard ready-made systems. Could there still be space for an Xbox One in ten years time? At least Microsoft seem to think so.
After a clumsy reveal and then a PR drubbing at E3, it is surprising to see how Microsoft has pulled around their ship ready for launch. Some analysts think that the Xbox One could even outsell the PlayStation 4 at release. According to Flannagan, they might not be wrong as the company is gearing up for the biggest ever hardware release – outpacing the Xbox 360 by over 2:1:
“I’ve been here for the launch of Xbox 360. I was here for the launch of Kinect. This is far and away the biggest launch we’ve ever done. It’s the most hardware we’ve ever produced. It’s the most we’ve ever pre-sold. We’re preselling a little over 2-to-1 from what we did with Xbox 360.”
If the Xbox One is indeed doubling pre-order sales of the Xbox 360, Microsoft will undoubtedly be pleased with the turnaround in the console’s fortunes. With only a few weeks to go until the console’s release, it won’t be long until we have some hard numbers on how well both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have done after the first hurdle.
The Xbox One will be released worldwide on November 22nd 2013.
Source: Games Industy International