When it comes to videogames, the manufacturers and publishers are rarely shy to heap praise on their own products. However, it is rare that the progress they're praising will actually save gamers money, as is the case with Microsoft's bragging at a recent CES briefing that they see no need for a new console yet.
David Hufford, senior director of product management for XBox, pointed out:
I think it's important to say that the Xbox 360 is the console of the long future for us. There is no need to launch a new console, because we're able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades like Project Natal. The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life, and I don't even know if we're at the midpoint yet.
Good news for those of us who don't want to start saving up for another huge console launch in the next few years! This also comes in the wake of Sony's keynote announcement that all PS3 systems would receive a firmware update to support 3D movies and games, such as Avatar. Hufford takes time to note that the XBox 360 already supports 3D displays, so there won't be any new costs associated with that (other than, y'know, buying one of those shiny new 3D TVs).
It is encouraging to think that both Sony and Microsoft have, in their own way, called a truce in that part of the console wars which relates to getting out the PS4 or XBox 720 to market as soon as possible so as to gain marketshare and the first run of all those next-next-gen(?) games. High-definition game development is far from being mastered, and the process of creating a game on current technology that stands up to other AAA titles is already a huge investment and risk that publishers aren't so eager to take anymore. So it's likely the software developers as well as consumers who are breathing a sigh of relief that no one is clamoring for a new round of consoles just yet.
Of course, this good news is tempered by the knowledge that each of the big three is still likely working on their next project, with quotes as recent as last spring discussing the next XBox. This is just a matter of course for tech companies, though: despite that even the slightest hint of a future replacement will cause a fanboy shitstorm to rival any winter blizzard, R&D is always a race going on behind the scenes, looking to create the next big thing before the other guy does.
So, what do you think? Is it definitely too early to begin discussing new console tech in the public sphere? Or are there features besides motion control and 3D cameras that you hope to see implemented in gaming soon?