Though the original Xbox was replaced by the 360 in just four years, Microsoft President of Entertainment and Devices Division Robbie Bach has assured that the platform holder is likely to stick with its current console for a longer period.
"Just coming up with something that’s faster and prettier isn’t going to be sufficient," Bach told the San Jose Mercury News. “The life cycle for this generation of consoles, and I’m not just talking about Xbox, I’d include Wii and PS3 as well, is probably going to be a little longer than previous generations."
Bach’s position is parallel to Sony’s, which has for a long time asserted that the Playstation 3 has a "ten-year lifespan.” The Wii too, with its successful pierce into the wider market without the need for bleeding-edge hardware, shows no signs of needing an upgrade.
The economic downturn will also play a part in the lifespan of consoles, as the three platform holders are no doubt aware that consumers are more reluctant to make large investments (such as with a new family car), while smaller luxuries such as software continue to sell well.
"When you look at consumers, they are going to be more value-conscious," Bach said, before adding that Microsoft wants “to make sure that as the economy does start to recover, that we’re positioned well."
Microsoft has recently stated that the Xbox 360 has hit lifetime sales of 28 million.