Why Is A 10-Year Lifespan A Bad Thing?
Much has been made about Sony saying the PlayStation 3 has a ten-year lifespan. In fact, most of that commentary has consisted of mockery and oddly hostile derision.
But I don't know why. Is it because people don't want a console to last ten years, or because they don't think it will and Sony is just blowing smoke? Whichever the reason, I say these people are completely wrong.
I'm reminded of the issue when EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich told NowGamer that Sony doesn't believe their own claims of a decade-long life-cycle and that the PS3 is now maxed out. Okay, first things first- You aren't a developer, Jesse, so to make any comment based on the technology of the system is outside your jurisdiction. Secondly, comparing the PS3 to phones and computers is inaccurate in more ways than one.
I would definitely question the Vita's supposed 10-year lifespan. That's an entirely different situation because you're entering the world of mobile gaming, which has changed drastically in the past four or five years. The world of console gaming doesn't appear to me to have changed much at all, outside of rising development costs and the rapidly expanding digital realm. The PS2 launched in 2000 and as of 2010, was still selling, in terms of both hardware and software. Obviously, those sales were tailing off and 2010 may have marked the downward turn for the console...but mathematically speaking, I'm counting ten years there.
Also, let's not forget that Sony enjoyed fantastic profitability in those last years of the PS2's reign, and there's nothing saying the same thing won't happen with the PS3. The latter console launched in 2006 and we are entering the 7th year. By 2008, the PS2 was pretty much done in terms of high-profile, system-selling AAA titles; it was mostly selling on its accumulated gigantic library and low price. But in its 7th year, the PS3 will see even more top-notch exclusives (Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, The Last Of Us), and there is definite evidence that designers have not maxed out the console. Take one look at Naughty Dog's latest and your eyes will confirm that.
So logically, there's absolutely no reason why the PS3 won't last ten years and in fact, at this point, it's essentially inevitable that the system will still be available, and will still be going strong in 2015 and even 2016. It'll be cheap and there will be a ton of games for it. I just can't understand why people wouldn't want this, or why they'd scoff at the idea. It seems abundantly clear to me and considering how cheap and whiny a lot of the gaming community has become recently, I'm surprised they don't want 20-year lifespans so they don't have to pay for new hardware so frequently. Just my two cents on the issue.
12/13/2012 1:03:43 PM Ben Dutka