The Xbox One X released on November 7, 2017. But everyone is already asking about the next new console. According to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot the next console generation will begin in about two years.
Gamespot just released an article containing quotes from the Ubisoft CEO about the future of gaming.
“As Sony launched PlayStation 4 Pro last year and Microsoft Xbox One X this year, we think we still have a minimum of two years in front of us before something new is coming,” Guillemot stated. “But that’s our perception, we don’t have any confidential information on that front.”
Obviously Guillemot does not work for Microsoft or Sony, and is not currently developing the next generation of console at Ubisoft. Thus, we can not take his word as gospel. However, as someone inside the industry, I believe that he may have certain knowledge that could indicate the future direction of both companies.
High profile video games take about 2-3 years to fully develop. If Ubisoft is planning on releasing any games for the next generation of console they should receive notice from hardware developers in advance of any public announcement in order to prepare launch window games for them. It is in Microsoft’s and Sony’s best interest to let game publishers know their future intentions with hardware releases so that companies can adequately prepare.
If the next Xbox and Playstation console release in 2019, that would put the Xbox One and PS4 on a six year life span. Shorter than the Xbox 360’s eight year lifespan from 2005 to 2013. But longer than the Wii U’s five year life span from 2012 to 2017.
Personally I believe that the Xbox One and Playstation 4 have a lot more life left. The precedent set by the Xbox One X and the Playstation 4 Pro point to a different kind of future.
A future with iterative console editions rather than revolutionary generations would benefit the consumer. If each console generation expanded upon the previous generation then your game library would be instantly compatible. Something that Microsoft already supports.
Eventually we may see games that no longer run on the 2013 edition of the Xbox One, but will run on the Xbox One X and the Xbox Next. Although that same future could release games that run on all three versions of the Xbox console and benefit from the expanded install base.
The current revolutionary mindset of console releases used to be based on the changing games media formats. SNES cartridges were incompatible with the N64, and the Sega Saturn proprietary CD-ROMs could not be read by the Sega Dreamcast’s GD-ROM reader. The digitization of games media makes it even easier to transfer games between generations of consoles.
However, an iterative console life cycle limits the appeal of remasters and releases of older games.
What do you think? Will we see a new Xbox or Playstation console in 2 years? Do you want the console generations to look more like iPhone releases every year? Are you planning on purchasing a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X?