Xbox 360 "has more than two years left" says Phil Spencer

The head of Microsoft Game Studios says the console is "doing incredibly well"

The general consensus among the gaming community is that the next consoles by Microsoft and Sony will launch in 2013. While that would seem to put a ceiling on the lifecycle of the Xbox 360, head of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer likes the prospects for the near term of the console.

"Right now the Xbox 360 is really healthy and it's doing incredibly well," he said to GameSpot. "I think the 360 has a lot more than two years [left]. It has legs for a long time."

"The nice thing about the Xbox 360 right now is - if you look - we're the number one console globally," he added. "We're able to bring in new content and still support the best of the core games."

"It's a platform that has really reached scale; this is the time when you really see the great content showing up. The future in a lot of ways is always tomorrow: [things like] the SmartGlass technology and Windows 8 [show that] things are going to constantly evolve."

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Latest comments (7)

Weston Sohlden5 years ago
Am I the only person perplexed by Microsoft's inconsistency towards their next console? Although mostly based on rumors, as a consumer, I would be rather confused right now. One report says the next generation of hardware should be coming in Winter 2013, meanwhile Microsoft stands up and shouts the Xbox 360 still has two years of growth left in it. This whole life-cylce "extension" seems to be putting the industry in an awkward rut.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
I don't see the connection here, Wes. Bringing out a new console did not stop the PS2's growth over the subsequent years. Technically they're saying everything "correctly" and all statements regarding the current and any future console are purely separate in nature and cannot and should not be linked with regards to logic puzzles.

I have to say that, as a consumer, I'm happy that this gen has lots of life left in it. With the exception of WiiU, any new console from MS or Sony will undoubtedly be hindered initially by "over-support" of the previous (current) generation of consoles - limiting any advantages that the technological prowess of the next gen brings in their first year or two of games: At least until the install base is fairly large.

Unfortunately, I believe that this will be awkward only for MS and Sony's bottom lines as the switch to the new generation will not be smooth or differentiated enough to drive bulk sales like the last two did. I, for one, certainly won't be getting either of their consoles at launch.... and not just because of that potential limitation mentioned above. Both companies have shown that they are fickle and not committed to releasing quality products at launch - instead preferring to hone them over time; the real consumer winners this generation were those who waited for the slim versions of both their respective consoles....

@The article:
"The nice thing about the Xbox 360 right now is - if you look - we're the number one console globally," he added. "We're able to bring in new content and still support the best of the core games."

I'm guessing that this is in current monthly sales volumes? Because last time I checked, Wii was still "winning" in total numbers, whilst 360 and PS3 were pretty much tied (to the nearest average 5,000,000 consoles sold) worldwide. Maybe that changed?

In fact, a quick glance at wikipedia (general pinch of salt all round due to no one knowing "TRUE" numbers outside of the respective companies):

Wii: 95.85 million (March 2012)
360: 67.2 million (April 2012)
PS3: 63.9 million (March 2012)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 10th June 2012 4:31pm

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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
Microsoft could re-engineer the 360 as a $99 impulse purchase device, the minimum device to play all those games and use Live. This would make a lot of sense. Run a two model strategy with the 360 and 720 appealing to different demographics.
If they do this it has a lot more than 2 years of sales left in it.
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Show all comments (7)
Marty Greenwell Software Developer 5 years ago
Of course they're saying it's got two more years left in it. Microsoft is currently expanding the selling of the $99 machine + Kinect with the two year tie-in to Xbox live at $14.99 a month at Best Buy and GameStop stores in the US.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 5 years ago
I think that James has the right take on this: a new console coming out doesn't immediately kill the previous generation, and I think that will be even moreso the case with the eighth generation (excepting the Wii U, if you count that 7th generation technology as an 8th generation console).

The issue is that the difference will be less obvious to consumers, customers are less willing to spend money for the next few years, and Sony (if not MS) can't afford to take the kind of risks or wait for a long-term pay-off that they could with the PS3. That probably means that there won't be heavy console subsidies, which in turn means high prices for something not so differentiated.

This leaves Sony and MS in a difficult place. Come Christmas 2013 the PS3 and Xbox 360 will both be able to compete pretty effectively with the Wii U: they should by this point have better price structures (since they don't have that expensive controller), they've got a much larger HD back catalogue, and they may have better third-party support if Nintendo can't bring that together. On the other hand, how hard do they want to push the previous generation of consoles when they're busy launching a new one? To a lot of consumers, a $200 Wii U would look pretty good when compared to a $400-$500 PS4 or Xbox 720, but it's a bit difficult to be saying, "Hey, look at this great new generation, no wait, you could also just buy a PS3 or 360 instead." (And, for Sony, "Oh yeah, we'll also give you a dozen AAA games for your PS3 if you fork out for a PSPlus subscription.)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Curt Sampson on 11th June 2012 12:46pm

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
Im ok with current offerings. My main concern, will be the price of the technology to the consumer.
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Kevin Patterson musician 5 years ago
It will be really interesting to see what MS and Sony does regarding the Wii-u.
If the price of the Wii-u is competitive then Sony and MS may be forced to reduce the price quite a bit, if the Wii-u is expensive, then MS and Sony have room to discount less.

The sad end of the original Xbox will thankfully not happen with 360, and i'm hoping that backwards compatibility will be there since they probably wont switch from ATI.

I hope that MS doesn't wait till 2014 for the next gen, but I would rather wait for a very powerful new console than a minor update next year.
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