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Thread: Motion Control To Lengthen Console Hardware Cycles [Slashdot]

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    Post Motion Control To Lengthen Console Hardware Cycles [Slashdot]

    With the recent E3 demonstrations of new motion-based control for consoles — Microsoft's Natal, Sony's Motion Controller, and Ubisoft's camera-based system for the Wii — analysts now expect the current console generation to last longer than normal. Microsoft exec Shane Kim said he expects the Xbox 360 to last until around 2015, in part due to Natal and new services available through Xbox Live. Signal Hill's Todd Greenwald thinks this cycle may not need to end at all: "Microsoft and Sony have invested so much in their current hardware line, as have third party publishers, that we don't think any party is seriously interested in throwing away these investments and starting over from scratch. For all of these reasons, we think this cycle will last longer than those in the past, and don't see new hardware coming until 2011 at the earliest, and 2012 to 2013 more likely (if at all — if new services like OnLive take off, or if Xbox Live and PlayStation Network become more and more robust, there may not be a need for another console cycle).'"
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    Wow i really hope the hardware cycle doesn't drag out that long.
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    the economy is the true reason the cycle will last longer, coming up with 10's or 100's of millions of dollars for R&D needed for a new generation of consoles just isnt in the cards anymore.

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    I'm fine with it lasting longer. Seriously, how much more power do game consoles really NEED anyway (other than the Wii needing HD support)? There's plenty left in the tank to keep these plastic boxes churning out gaming goodness for years to come, imo. Plus, I'd rather not have to shell out $300 to $400 for a new 'box anytime soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    the economy is the true reason the cycle will last longer, coming up with 10's or 100's of millions of dollars for R&D needed for a new generation of consoles just isnt in the cards anymore.
    What do you mean? The Big Three already started R&D on the upcoming generation of consoles several years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob2600 View Post
    What do you mean? The Big Three already started R&D on the upcoming generation of consoles several years ago.
    R&D was started on the Phantom as well. its not where you start, its where you end up.

    PS3/PSP sales are flat and MS is shelling out millions to fix damn near every 360 that has rolled off the assembly line. this means less money for R&D

    On top of that, the law of diminished returns has hit the wall, there isnt much left graphically to improve. It is gonig to have to be about the games finally. the question is can gamers collectively maintain interest in a gaming platform for more than five years? they havent had to for the past 30 years.

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    Well this just makes me feel that much better about my investment in my 360 and Wii. It also means that hopefully the PS3 will hit a price point low enough where I can pick it up before this generation is over.
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    Highend PCs as of 2008 already offer 10+ times the graphics performance of Xbox 360 & PS3 (thus at least 100 times the performance of Wii) and that gulf is only going to widen in 2009, 2010 and beyond.

    By no later than fall 2012, I would like to see new consoles from all 3 console providers, and not just modest upgrades of the current consoles, but a complete generational leap in CPU/processing, GPU/graphics, RAM, mass storage, control schemes and online.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxscroll View Post
    By no later than fall 2012, I would like to see new consoles from all 3 console providers, and not just modest upgrades of the current consoles, but a complete generational leap in CPU/processing, GPU/graphics, RAM, mass storage, control schemes and online.
    Then why not just buy a new computer?

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    I really do hope this generation lasts for a few more years yet. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 haven't even nearly been pushed to their maximum potential. The HD 1080p output from these machines is absolutely incredible on a decent sized LCD, there's really no need to upgrade for quite a while yet.

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    I'd love it if the cycle takes its time, I'm not ready to buy another console yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CosmicMonkey View Post
    I really do hope this generation lasts for a few more years yet. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 haven't even nearly been pushed to their maximum potential.
    The PS3 and Wii have only been out for two-and-a-half years. Of course they'll be around for a few more years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    R&D was started on the Phantom as well. its not where you start, its where you end up.

    PS3/PSP sales are flat and MS is shelling out millions to fix damn near every 360 that has rolled off the assembly line. this means less money for R&D

    On top of that, the law of diminished returns has hit the wall, there isnt much left graphically to improve. It is gonig to have to be about the games finally. the question is can gamers collectively maintain interest in a gaming platform for more than five years? they havent had to for the past 30 years.
    Exactly, there's a difference between a few million dollars a year on some chip designers, software people and industrial design staff to come up with potential new console designs and actually spending the hundreds of millions of dollars it takes to get a new console ready to go out the door in the two years before launch. In this cycle, that two year lead up hasn't really started yet primarily because of the economy and the fact that Microsoft and Sony still aren't making the money they need to off the current generation hardware and software. While motion control might even the hardware sales race out a little, I doubt it's going to extend the life of any of the three consoles. In fact, Nintendo may actually be the first to launch a new console this time if the sales numbers keep decreasing as they have now pretty fully saturated the potential Wii market.

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    I wouldn't mind either situation of new hardware, or a longer generation. I'd be excited to see new hardware, but there's nothing wrong with what I got hooked up right now. I just want to sit back and watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxscroll View Post
    By no later than fall 2012, I would like to see new consoles from all 3 console providers, and not just modest upgrades of the current consoles, but a complete generational leap in CPU/processing, GPU/graphics, RAM, mass storage, control schemes and online.
    Can you imagine how much such as a beast will cost? The PS3 is already costing Sony $800 a pop and to process great improvements on it breaks the bank. Let alone the increases in production cost in time and money to program for it are astronomical.

    The writing is on the wall, IMO, motion sensory is here to stay. Developers reluctant in embracing it before will have a hard time avoiding it now. It's arguable whether the concept will extend the current consoles' lifespan but if the new generation comes 2-3 years from now, most likely all three have motion sensory as a standard with slight advancement in graphics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbid View Post
    On top of that, the law of diminished returns has hit the wall, there isnt much left graphically to improve. It is gonig to have to be about the games finally. the question is can gamers collectively maintain interest in a gaming platform for more than five years? they havent had to for the past 30 years.
    Well, the PS1 lasted 10 years, and we are at about the 10 years mark for the PS2. Sony announced at E3 that they would be publishing 100 games for the PS2 this year.

    Blast Entertainment alone published (and publishes) an enourmous amount of games for the PS2, of course they're in the UK, so their stuff is PAL. What footage I've seen on YouTube for their PS2 games THUNDERBIRDS and BEVERELY HILLS COP look more like early PS1 games. They could use another 10 years or so to get the hang of the PS2.
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    We don't even know how much Microsoft and Sony's motion controllers will cost, nor have we seen any actual games using them. So we certainly don't know how widely they will be adopted. They would have to do extremely well in order to have a significant impact. If they sell about as well as the Eyetoy (which did reasonably), they're not going to do anything for the consoles' life spans.

    All three console manufacturers still have good reason to come out with a new console in 2011ish. Nintendo is obvious, due to graphics. But graphics aren't necessarily the only change with a new console. The current consoles offer more of a difference over last-gen than simply graphics. I mean, look at the Wii. It's not much more capable than the Gamecube, but a lot of other things are different about it, and it's been a huge success, unlike its predecessor. Assuming the PS3 stays consistently in third, a new console generation is, from Sony's perspective, the only realistic way to get back on top. As for Microsoft, their new console could be more reliable, they could move on from DVD to a larger format, they could make hard drives standard again, and they could bring in features that other consoles already have, such as built-in wi-fi ability. Both Sony and Microsoft could make their new motion controllers (or something similar) standard, instead of having a split market, and Nintendo could integrate the Motion Plus technology into their new controller and maybe add a microphone or something.
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    Wheter we have motion controllers or not, More companies need to embrase longer console cycles. The playsation and PS2 are great examples of how to do it right. With longer cycles, you get more hardware revisions, a bigger user base, and the more games. It is win win for gamers. I am all for it.
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    I'm pretty happy to hear the current generation may last longer than expected. The 360 and Wii are going strong, and I'm only just getting to the point where I'm seriously considering a PS3.

    One line from that article did scare me a bit, though:

    Quote Originally Posted by DP ServBot View Post
    there may not be a need for another console cycle
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