Xbox 360 Has Two Years Left, So We’re Not Entering Next-Gen Until 2014?

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Are next-gen consoles really not releasing next year? Although very unlikely, we might have to wait until 2014

Depending on your perspective, comments on the Xbox 360’s shelf life could mean it’s going to be around for a while

The feeling surrounding E3 2012 has been that it’s a filler year, a year where we’re waiting for next-gen consoles to arrive even though Microsoft and Sony pretend they aren’t coming. The Xbox 360 has remained remarkably consistent since its debut in 2005, and it could be continuing for two more years.

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said the company is committed to long-term investment and the Xbox 360 remains the best selling console. He added now is when the best content appears – we’re seeing Halo 4, for example, which is getting plenty best-of-show awards – and last year we saw strong releases such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Spencer added the Xbox 360 is performing strongly, and has a lot more than two years left. Of course that won’t mean we’re not going to see the Xbox 720/Durango for a while; instead, it probably means the two will co-exist as games are supported on both platforms for a year or so. If Xbox Live Arcade works across both services, maybe Microsoft will re-introduce the Arcade machine. Or perhaps it’ll be a media-only device when games are on Durango.

Beyond Games

Spencer also cited SmartGlass, the cross-device app which allows background information on TV programs to be shown, or the ability to direct plays in NFL, along with the Nike+ sports title as reasons for console longevity. Remember, Microsoft is already offering a $99 Xbox 360 on a two-year contract.

Honestly, though, I don’t see another Halo game releasing on the Xbox 360 post-Halo 4. And the reason I’m mentioning Halo 4 is because the game is part of a new trilogy, so is the majority of that trilogy going to play out on current hardware along with three other Halo titles?

GamesIndustry said during 2011 that Microsoft is looking at putting out two different Xbox 720s, a set-top box for media content and Kinect 2.0 and the proper console. It sounds like a good strategy, because plenty of Xbox 360 owners will use the console for TV considering it’s in a large amount of living rooms.

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Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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