Questing in Kalimdor, I received word that, yes, the Wii has dropped in price to $199. After I logged out, I got to thinking: how long can this last? Like, the Wii (and the PS3) came out three years ago, and the Xbox 360 came out four years ago. Given how quickly consumer electronics evolve, how long we can expect to play these systems?
We pretty frequently hear rumors of a “Wii 2,” or whatever you want to call it, but that could well be because the Wii is only slightly more powerful than the GameCube, itself eight years old. How long can you expect people to play a GameCube with a fancy controller? (That’s not a knock against the Wii, of course, but it’s been a little while since we saw all those IT PRINTS MONEY articles.) That said, when was the last time you read something alluding to a PS4 or new Xbox? Heck, you can make the argument that the PS3 is just now starting to find its legs, what with the success of the PS3 Slim. Microsoft, for its part, seems to be clinging onto Xbox Live as a place where you’ll find its innovations.
Then you’ve got the fact that both Sony and Microsoft are tacking on motion control to their respective systems, and you get the feeling that neither company is looking to rush into the next generation. Nope, they’re gonna squeeze as much life out of these guys as they can.
And is there anything wrong with that, maximizing the current crop of systems before tossing them aside?
And let’s not forget that a significant number of people are still playing their games on a small, non-HD TV (probably with the TV’s built-in speakers, too), so these people aren’t even taking advantage of the current generation, let alone some crazy Future Techno gigaflops and whatnot.
I don’t know, I guess the point is: how long do you think the Xbox 360 and PS3 will last? You have to assume that Microsoft and Sony are already working on their next systems, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be playing them any time soon! And if we’re looking at another three years with the same systems, does that bother you? To me, the answer is “no,” it wouldn’t bother me to keep playing these systems (never mind that I mostly play WoW these days) for several more years. (Apologies if this seems disjointed, I’m writing this with one foot out the door.)