It is hard to expect Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 to remain on the market for twelve long years, like the legendary Sony PlayStation 2 originally launched in 2000 and discontinued only in 2012. However, both consoles have at least a couple of years ahead of them, believes Electronic Arts, one of the globe’s biggest game publishers.
“I would anticipate seeing both Sony and Microsoft get behind their current-gen platforms at least for the next two years and bring us to a ten-year cycle as we saw in the previous cycle,” said Peter Moore, president and chief operating officer of Electronic Arts, during a conference call with financial analysts and investors.
Core gamers in well-developed countries will unlikely buy a lot more PS3 and X360 units since they now have better options in the new generation of game systems. Some people will buy the older hardware in order to play older games going forward, but those sales will not be significant. Casual gamers will probably buy more Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles thanks to their value, possible discounts on games and other reasons.
It is interesting to note that neither Microsoft nor Sony have announced plans to cut-down prices of their previous-generation consoles and sell them on developing markets. The PS3 is still pretty expensive in manufacturing and it is not easy to reduce its pricing. The situation with X360 remains unclear since it does not cost a lot and has a portfolio of high-quality games. It could become a success in Latin America.
It is highly likely that Microsoft and Sony will start to phase out the current-gen consoles after the first price-cuts of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Those slashes should probably happen before holiday 2015 or in 2016 at the latest.