The past few generations of video game consoles have shown us how long life-cycles can get. However, what console gamers want is changing and companies are responding. By the end of 2017, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will all have launched new systems. Furthermore, these systems will mean five years or less in between releases.
Console life-cycles have been a topic for nearly half a decade now. All the way back in 2012, gamers, analysts and pundits couldn’t stop talking about it. Here we are in 2016 and console life-cycles are still a topic. With upgraded systems releasing from Microsoft and Sony, plus Nintendo Switch coming this March, it is clear that a significant shift is happening.
Gone are the days of the eight year console life-cycle and now is the time of mid-generation upgrades. Sony launched PS4 Pro this past November, while Microsoft will launch Project Scorpio next year. Nintendo new system, Switch, is coming this March, and all of this has Ubisoft’s Xavier Poix very excited.
“For us it was a good decision for [the major consoles] to be more alike. We are going from a eight to six-year cycles, even 10-year cycles in some cases, to what we can already see is a three to four-year cycle. I think this is the way the industry is going.
“For us this is good, because as we already know how to handle these cycles on the PC. We are already facing a lot of different configurations for PC, so I guess two years from now we’ll be happy to launch games that will be on the PS4, the PS4 Pro, the Scorpio, the Xbox One but with no big differences. That’s interesting and that’s also, for us, a way to push ourselves into more of a very short cycle, which we try to be good at here at Ubisoft,” Poix told Polygon.
Consumers are now given many more options for the type of console they want. Ideally, this will force Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to all deliver the very best with their respective systems. Nintendo Switch will perhaps be the most unique of the three when it launches next year.
Its play-at-home or on-the-go concept could mark an enormous leap forward for home consoles. While Project Scorpio and PS4 Pro are showing the power of home consoles, Nintendo will be looking to showcase its newfound flexibility. Now is a very intriguing time for players, developers and publishers, and next year won’t be letting up in that regard. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on video games.