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Microsoft Sees No Need For A New Console

Xbox_720_controller_by_alessandelpho.jpgWhen 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?

9 Comments

SniperWolf said:

I'm all for no new consoles for awhile. I don't even want to think about spending the money on a new one.

Burr said:

No new consoles for a while could result in a resurgence of PC gaming as it continues to push the limits.

Game-Boy said:

That picture is what the average person sees when they look at the PS3/360 controller.

Aximill said:

Can they at least wait till the economies rebound? Though as a fanboy, I'll still likely buy it. Damn it.

Steve said:

Fine, though I like newer hardware (I'm one of those people that upgrades their computer every 3 years, even if not doing anything particularly hardcore with it). However, I wish they'd stop making games for the current consoles that look like they could have been released on previous generation consoles (or are simultaneously released on older consoles with exactly the same graphics... Harry Potter, I'm looking at you).

MaxHedrm said:

Since they don't make much (if any) money on consoles this is no surprise. Why replace it when they are only just paying off R&D.

Andy B said:

> The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life
> designed for a long life
> long life

*cough*

Microsoft is the only game company that has never visibly redesigned a console. They keep changing the logic boards out for different ones that still fail, but the only change in either Xbox has been an HDMI port and a paint job, while 14 other consoles off the top of my head from Sony, Sega, Nintendo, NEC, and Atari have all seen at least one major redesign or hardware compatible spinoff. Also, no technology -- connectors, memory, architecture, anything except outside standards like ethernet -- followed from the original Xbox to the 360. I hear tell this is because Microsoft forgot to actually acquire any of the copyrights or patents that went into the original's design. I wonder if a similar technology ownership problem keeps them from making a new 360 that doesn't break, or if they still consider driving down the price and increasing volume more economical than making a reliable one.

Everyone needs to take a lesson from this generation for the next. Embrace standard hardware. Write standard APIs. Bump the specs. Wii got everything right except networking abstraction for Mario Kart and changing the A/V cable, while Xbox and PlayStation were backwards compatibility disasters, completely switching architectures and ditching old connectors for memory and controllers respectively. Whatever they do next, I just hope they do it... convergently.

Shin Gallon said:

It's just as well, I've long felt that this gen of consoles would be my last (I already spend 90% of my gaming time on PC titles now).
Also, as an aside, am I the only one that hates movies in 3D? It's annoying and distracting, in addition to causing me to get massive headaches (I was fortunate enough to have a theater here playing Avatar without the 3D so I could actually go see it), so it being added into the consoles really doesn't excite me in the least.

Nexus said:

@Shin Gallon

It isn't exactly handy when you wear glasses either.
Maybe in a few years (more likely a few decades) they can project the image outwards in true 3D and you won't need those annoying glasses.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Nexus on Microsoft Sees No Need For A New Console: @Shin Gallon It isn't exactly handy when you wear glasses either. Maybe in a few years (more likely a few...

Shin Gallon on Microsoft Sees No Need For A New Console: It's just as well, I've long felt that this gen of consoles would be my last (I already spend 90%...

Andy B on Microsoft Sees No Need For A New Console: > The Xbox 360 was designed for a long life > designed for a long life > long life *cough*...

MaxHedrm on Microsoft Sees No Need For A New Console: Since they don't make much (if any) money on consoles this is no surprise. Why replace it when they are...

Steve on Microsoft Sees No Need For A New Console: Fine, though I like newer hardware (I'm one of those people that upgrades their computer every 3 years, even if...

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