What is the life-cycle of a console?
We’ve all been playing games for most of our lives, right? So, I felt it was important to know how long a gaming console will last. Recently, I did some research, and I thought you guys might find it helpful if you know some of the statistics over the life-cycle of a gaming console.
So, the first question we’ve to ask is, what is a life-cycle? Well, it can be defined as the series of stages a manufactured product goes through from its inception to the production of its successor (the fact that I searched for the definition on Google probably shows how lazy I am)
So, the console wars is currently stagnant in its 8th generation, so I looked up some of the release dates for Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony’s consoles (not portable, mind you. That’s a topic for another article). These are the de facto release dates from the predecessors of each console to its 7th, 6th, and even 5th generation.
I’m not going to include the slim, or refined edition of each console, like the PS3 Slim, for example, to make things easier.
Let’s get straight to it.
I’d originally decided to exclude the Wii U (cough, cough), but, it technically is an 8th generation console, so..
- Nintendo 64- 1996
- GameCube- 2001
- Wii- 2006
- Wii U- 2012
Well, from the above data, we can infer that Nintendo has been sticking to a neat schedule of an average of 5-6 years.
- XBOX- 2001
- XBOX 360- 2005
- XBOX One- 2013
You can notice a huge gap between the release of the XBOX 360 and the XBOX One. I’ll be talking about the reason for that in a few seconds.
So, let’s check out the statistics for our beloved PlayStation 4, shall we?
- PlayStation- 1995
- PlayStation 2- 2000
- PlayStation 3- 2006
- PlayStation 4- 2013
Again, similar to the XBOX, There seems to be a huge gap between the PS3 and the PS4. So, why is that?
Microsoft did not necessarily feel threatened to release a new updated console not because Sony was doing the same thing per se, but because the 360 was a powerful and efficient console in and of itself.
Obviously, Sony had similar reasons, hence the gap between the 7th and 8th generations. But, that does not render the PlayStation 3 and the XBOX 360 obsolete, since the PlayStation 4
and the XBOX One (XBOX One finally gets backwards compatibility) does not support backwards compatibility, they’ll be around for a long time.
So, what can be accepted by the gaming community at large as a decent life-cycle for a console? Scouring online forums and my opinions as well, most of the gamers felt that a solid 7-8 years is more than enough, and completely converges with the consoles of the 7th generation.
So, using the above data, we can say that the average life-cycle of today’s consoles might be around 7-8 years. Please do remember that these predictions are purely arbitrary, and I cannot predict the future (or can I?)
*Cue dramatic music*
Let me know what you think.