In a recent interview, corporate VP Shane Kim stated that “We firmly believe that the Xbox 360 has a life cycle through 2015”. This would put it on a comparable plan to Sony’s PlayStation 2, which still enjoys robust sales and support in its 9th year (as evidenced by its strong presence in all of Sony’s E3 press conferences, up to this year). With its dependence on the storage-challenged DVD format and its well-documented problems with hardware reliability, is this a feasible product timeline?
That said, the evolution of the Xbox 360 after release has been anything but conventional. The New Xbox Experience in 2008 was a remarkable reinvention of the user interface a full 3 years after the system’s debut, and the upcoming Project Natal controller-free project which is tentatively scheduled for 2010 will bring another major change to the platform.
The original Xbox was effectively brought to the end of its cycle in 2006 (a mere year after the 360’s debut), so history still leads me to believe that the 360 will be phased out quickly once Microsoft’s 3rd console is inevitably released. Still, the concave ivory pedestal should enjoy a longer and better supported life than its obsidian predecessor and effectively bridge the gap between it and the Xbox 720/Xbox 3/Ybox/brand new name.
[via gamesindustry.biz: 360 to match PS3’s 10-year lifecycle, says Kim]