Wild Prediction: New Game Consoles in 2010, 2011

By  |  Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Nintendo Entertainment SystemAdmittedly I’m no Michael Pachter when it comes to foretelling the future of video games, but with Microsoft exec Robbie Bach saying that we won’t see a new Xbox 360 for a while, the temptation to speculate is too overwhelming. So join me as I wildly predict when the next round of consoles will come along.

Let’s start with the base assumption that consoles have a five year life span on average. That’s been the case with every generation except the Nintendo Entertainment System (six years in the U.S.), the Playstation 2 (six years in the U.S.) and the original Xbox (four years). No console has lasted seven years in North America without being replaced by the next generation. Keep that in mind for later.

Speaking of history, Bach’s comments aren’t the first of their kind. In 2007, Mindy Mount, Microsoft’s entertainment division CFO, told Reuters she sees potential for the Xbox 360 to last beyond five years. The waters get muddy here, because it’s not clear if she envisions a lifespan that terminates or coexists with the next generation. But it’s not just Microsoft that’s looking to extend their current console’s lifespan. Nintendo head Satoru Iwata said in 2007 that the company won’t consider a new console until it can transform entertainment once again. “But today’s situation is such that we are not desperate for any new weapons at all,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sony is at the bottom of the heap. The early start after a four year life cycle could serve them well, as it did for Microsoft, even if it carries some shame in admitting the PS3 was sort of a flop.

One last thing: Bach said that “coming up with something that’s faster and prettier isn’t going to be sufficient.” This suggests that Microsoft — and Sony, if it doesn’t want to get left behind — will go the way of the Wii with something new to attract untapped markets. If Sony will be the first to market with a new console, Microsoft will probably come in second to compete with the Wii.

Recession is the wild card. Conservative estimates place the unemployment peak at early 2010, which means holiday consumer spending could be healthy that year. More likely, things will be in full swing by 2011. Will all this in mind, here goes nothing:

Sony will be first to release it’s console in 2010, four years after the PS3 reached North America. This will ensuring a full lineup of games for the 2011 holidays, when Microsoft will launch its next generation (six years after the Xbox 360’s release. Nintendo could break the seven year mark, because the company so hell-bent on innovation that it could very well be 2012 when they release something completely new and blow the other two companies out of the water. On the other hand, Wii owners buy less software than Xbox 360 owners, so Nintendo may want a refresh after all. I say 2011 for the Big N as well.


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21 Comments For This Post

  1. Ed Oswald Says:

    Jared, you're not Mike Pacter, you're better than Mike Pacter! 😀

  2. Bill Sheppard Says:

    I think it’s certainly clear with the PS3, and probably so with the Xbox 360, that hardware limitations are not having an appreciable impact on the gaming content, but it’s simply a function of continued evolution on the software side. The PS3 is more future-proofed by its Blu-ray drive and presence of a hard drive on every console; the Xbox could conceivably be hampered by DVD storage density unless network delivery of primary content is deemed feasible. The Wii, on the other hand, will likely be hamstrung by its lack of HD and sufficient graphics horsepower. As more PS3 and Xbox 360 content emerges which competes with the Wii’s family-friendly content it may begin to lose ground.

  3. mathiastck Says:

    My money is the next big game system from Sony will be a new PSP with a touch screen, and a smaller form factor.

    The PS3 hardware is fine. Launching a new portable game console will re invogorate the Sony gaming brand, which should peripherally help the PS3.

    The IPod touch is eating this market by itself right now. Small, affordable wifi device that is good for gaming. The lack of buttons though makes it it really imperfect as a gaming device. A PSP touch could better deliver.

    It’d be tempting to add more feature, but they would do well to try to keep the price, and form factor, down.

    There are already a LOT of people using the web browser on the PSP already. The control on it is good enough to effectively navigate an on screen keyboard, and its rich display goes a long way.

    I’d love to see them ditch their current propietary format for the device. Let user’s download content OTA. Sell games over a DRM’d SD cards, but let the device use the same hardware to read regular SD cards.

    Get flash working on it and you could have one of the best mobile browsers out there.

    If we were going further into my wishlist I’d say throw a standard Sun J2ME JVM on it so you can download your standard cell phone apps, IM, mail etc.

    But all this can be in later versions, first they just have to put a touch screen on your standard PSP and ship it again 🙂

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  5. Jake Landry Says:

    There is supposed to be an Xbox 580 for 2011.

  6. ben Says:

    cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant wait but i think you could of added what the names of the systems were going to be. you would not get sued. im the son of a lawyer and my dad said its alright so just tell the names and you will get more veiwers and comments

  7. ronald Says:

    a new sega would be nice, the console wars need a need contender.
    xbox vs. ps and nintendo vs. sega

    besides i think companys should focus on cross system online multiplayer that would be cool

  8. DarkManX Says:

    In my opinion your not that bright so this is a stupid as hell thing to even guess at.

  9. james braselton Says:


  10. dholyer Says:

    I started playing video games in 1976 before they moved to video. It was Star Trek on a TTY-38 Teletype hooked to a 110 baud acoustic handset modem. In 1977 I moved up to the Atari 2600 and in 1980 I upgraded to a Atari 800 Home Computer. It had better Graphics than an Apple II, for 2.5 years.

    By brother started out with a Genesis 16bit game machine then when the 32bit version came out he upgraded. My youngest brother started out with a PS2 and has yet to improve his game box.

    The next generation of Game Machines will have headset hookups that were vreated by one of Atari’s co-founders and skip the joysticks and read your mind and thoughts. Their will still be switches on the boxes but only as backups for the voice controls.

    And they will no longer be game machines but starting to step into the home media center system. Microsoft has been dreaming of this stuff for the last 3 or 4 years and control your phone, media feed line (antenna, dish, cable, DVD/Video, and voice, plus most likely control of all your household appliances and their power sources. In time these Home Media Centers will connect with your car and cell phone and PC that clips to your belt or hides in your phone.

    The next step for a display will be like a Star Trek holodeck, first as goggles or glasses you wear, and in time move to a room in your home that can project things in real time 3D. Visually the holodecks will be here in 75 years, as for physically may wait until the 22nd century.

    But by then we will be hopefully walking on Pluto and our robotic drones will be venturing to other solar systems and possible by then we may have evolved joysticks to kill invading pixels into remote presence explorers siting in command chairs wearing control suits and having robots die with out ever getting a scratch and our personal care robots will not even let us get a hangnail.

    The next Century has much we can dream for, and may we let technology and the Video gaming systems give the wonders to all starting with the children who will give us the future.

  11. Blake Says:

    I want to see consoles that are capable of true 1080p games, play at 60fps consistently, and bring a little of something new to the game. $100 GPUs for PCs are faster and have more memory than either the Ps3 or Xbox 360. Looks to me like it wouldn’t cost much for Microsoft and Sony to make some decent super consoles.

  12. will from canada Says:

    i agree with that ronald guy. sega should release a new console and take their titles like sonic and phantasy star univers as well as bringing up a new guardian heroes from the saturn.they could also start there own series like the way sony brought uncharted and resistence out of no where.as long as they kept there graphics and over all quality equal to the 360 they could easily out sell the wii because it would have familt freindly games like soic as well as call of duty ,bioshock and other multiplatform titles. they could also have anothere vigilante 8 game made uniqe to this console similar to how xbox has forza and ps3 has motorstorm. (motorstorm sucks)they could call it the dreamcast 2 the saturn 2 the ringedge home or ringwide home. sega has always been ahead of thier time. the dreamcast bits are actually better then the ps2.

  13. jackson Says:

    i think there is ment to be an xbox 720 coming out this year.

  14. jackson Says:

    im guessing that there going to make an xbox 720

  15. OnLive Says:

    Xbox 720?
    PSP 2?

  16. Steve Says:

    Im thinking your a little off on your predictions. wii 2 isnt supposed to come out for YEARS. the ps4 isn’t supposed to come out till 2014. you are accurate on new xbox thou. xbox720 is apparently comping out in 2012. (everything is happening in 2012. just look out for the # 666 around December of that year)

  17. Kenneth Says:

    the next consoles should be able to constantly be upgraded as time goes by to keep up with current tech , basically a console / pc hybrid

  18. dnick Says:

    i think it would be kick ass if a hand held xbox came out.

  19. nostalgicgamer Says:

    yeah handheld 360 would be cool but I don't like how Playstation moved kingdom hearts to psp. All future handheld games should also play on their respective home consoles

  20. Kennesawga Garage Door installation Says:

    Nice blog and also precise info. You raise many questions with my mind; you wrote an outstanding post, but it is also mind provoking, and I have to ponder it some much more.

  21. noway Says:

    so much for your predictions!!

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