This year Microsoft Xbox 360 becomes four years old game console and Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 turn three years old, about time to think, or at least begin thinking, about next-generation video game systems. However, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes that there will be no new game consoles until the year 2013.
“We note that video game software sales typically peak in the year prior to the introduction of a new generation console, as many consumers begin to slow purchases in anticipation of purchasing a new console the next year. We do not expect a “new” console in 2010 (other than the long-rumored high definition Wii, which is likely to upgrade the Wii to current console technology). We do not expect the “next” generation to begin before 2013, if at all,” said Mr. Pachter in a note.
It is unclear what the analyst wanted to say by “if at all”, but an anticipation that the video game consoles will cease to evolve with the current generation means rather dramatic change for the industry.
In fact, Michael Pachter is not the only one who expects the present generation of consoles to have a very long lifespan. In fact, even some game developers expected the next generation to arrive in 2012 or even in 2018. Nevertheless, there are those, who have already started to develop 3D rendering engines for PlayStation 4 and Xbox 3.
While from some point of view it may be comfortable for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to sell existing hardware and make profits on software for it, they all realize that at some point demands of end-users will become higher and sales of both software and hardware will collapse. Even Sony, which claims that its consoles have ten years lifecycles introduced its PlayStation 2 five years after the PlayStation, whereas the PlayStation 3 was brought to market about six years after the PS2.