*Looks at NX*
It’s the same story we have been hearing every single time for the last decade or so, now- every time a new batch of consoles is released, we get a bunch of industry officials and analysts who proclaim that the current console generation will be the last one. Never before have they all been more insistent than this time around. To their credit, given the rise of internet streaming, cheap media boxes, resurgent PC gaming, and smartphones and tablets, one can sort of understand their point.
One of the people who thinks that the current generation of consoles may be the last traditional one is Emmett Shear, who runs popular video game livestreaming site, Twitch.
“The problem is, the seven-year upgrade lifecycle doesn’t work in the face of the two-year upgrade cycles for every other hardware platform,” he said. “It’s so intrinsically built into how consoles get manufactured and made and the full business model, that I’d be surprised to see another generation.”
Instead, he thinks, Sony and Microsoft may offer incremental hardware refreshes of their consoles every few years- something similar to the PC, tablet, and smartphone industry, and something that Nintendo has already done in the handheld market with the Gameboy-Gameboy Color, Nintendo DS-Nintendo DSi, and Nintendo 3DS-New Nintendo 3DS transitions.
“I could imagine a version 1.1 product from both Microsoft and Sony which adds in slightly more speed and slightly more memory very similar to how phones and tablets work today. I think it’s going to look more like the mobile phone market over time,” Shear explained.
Of course, he does fail to take into account Nintendo home consoles- Nintendo has already announced its next major hardware, NX, and if it is a home console, then it will be a ninth generation home console, which means all these analyses are already wrong.
What I say is, let’s wait and watch how this all turns out, and let’s just enjoy our new consoles, which are barely a couple of years old at this point, before we start worrying about what comes next.