Xbox 360: Can it Last 10-Plus Years?

Xbox 360: Can it Last 10-Plus Years?

Do you love your Xbox 360? You’re in luck. Microsoft has declared that the system is only midway through its life cycle, meaning you might get another six years out of the old workhorse.

(Provided it doesn’t Red Ring first. Schwing!)

Toward the end of June, Chris Lewis, Xbox’s European VP, told MCV [via CVG and Industry Gamers] that the Xbox 360 received a “huge shot of adrenaline” thanks to the introduction of Kinect. “What we are now seeing is massive swathes of families and younger audiences flocking to it,” he said. “As you saw at the press conference, we are now in line with what we projected at E3 2010.”

Lewis also stressed that Kinect is ideal for families, but Microsoft has plans to use the peripheral to enhance core gaming experiences. “What you will see is us using Kinect to enhance the experience and not detract from it. I don’t think our core gamers will tolerate anything else from us.”

Microsoft is pouring a lot of time and energy into Kinect, and obviously it doesn’t want to say anything that would kill potential sales of the unit. But is it necessary to belt out a crazy claim about the Xbox 360 being only halfway through its life cycle? How can anyone respond to that, except to smile and nod?

The Wii U is coming next year, and the PlayStation 4 might not be too far behind. The Wii U’s tablet-based controller will probably wind up as the next piece of shiny technology to enrapture casual gamers–provided they haven’t all jumped ship to freebie social games by that point. It’s not clear what Sony has up its sleeve for motion control/hands-free gaming, but it will presumably improve on the Kinect. After all, Sony pioneered the technology with the PlayStation 2’s EyeToy. Kinect or no Kinect, the Xbox 360 is going to be terribly dated in a couple of years, let alone six.

Then again, we should know by now not to take console engineers seriously when they swear their aging console will hang around until we’re all dust and bones. After all, it was only last November when Reggie Fils-Aime swore Nintendo wouldn’t talk about a Wii successor until the Wii sold 15 million more units (bringing the worldwide total to 45 million). Now, barely half a year later…well, here we are. Nintendo’s been a little hush-hush about its latest sales data, but it’s safe to assume the Wii has not sold an additional 15 million units since last November.

All that remains is to guess the reveal date for the next Xbox. 2012? 2013? Even if the Xbox 360 doesn’t last another six years, maybe we’ll see the rise of a new game of chance: Betting on console release dates. It’s not as fast-paced as horse racing, but it provides a slow-growing rush of excitement.

Very slow.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

Leave a Reply