By: Laura Parker
LOS ANGELES–Despite analysts’ predictions that it’s “all but a given” that either Microsoft or Sony or both will launch new consoles by the end of next year, Microsoft believes its Xbox 360 has a few more years left.
Speaking to GameSpot, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer revealed that new incentives like the recently unveiled SmartGlass technology and the Nike partnership mean the publisher is serious about extending the life cycle of its current-generation home console.
“Microsoft entered this space with the original Xbox 11 years ago, and we’re committed for the long-term,” Spencer told GameSpot during an E3 interview this week. “The nice thing about the Xbox 360 right now is–if you look–we’re the number one console globally. 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. The world where everything gets centered around one console and when that comes out–we kind of have to evolve away from just thinking about that, [especially] with the service-based nature of games today.”
“Right now the Xbox 360 is really healthy and it’s doing incredibly well. I think the 360 has a lot more than two years [left]. It has legs for a long time.”
Spencer’s comments do not automatically rule out a next-gen console release from Microsoft sometime in the next two years. For example, when Sony launched the PlayStation 3 in November 2006, it did so while continuing to support the PlayStation 2. However, it is worth noting that when Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 in November 2005, the original Xbox had already been removed from store shelves.
Last month, Microsoft revealed the $99 Xbox 360 program, a deal that will sell the 4GB Kinect-equipped Xbox 360 hardware bundle for $99 if customers commit to a two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription at a cost of $15 per month.