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Pachter: Current Console Life Cycle To Be Longest In History

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter is a mainstay in video game journalism, and his recent report is well worth your attention.

As summarized by Joystiq, Pachter's massive 200+ page report talks about the future of the industry; specifically, the longevity of the current console life cycle. In this report of novel proportions, he not only pointed out the very real possibility of a WiiHD, but said this generation of consoles will be the longest in history due to HD displays and console SKUs. Pachter indicates the small adoption rates for HD displays and says that unless this changes, the longevity of the consoles currently on the market will expand. Further, if you consider the fact that it costs developers and publishers more than ever to be a part of the industry, you can expect a very long console cycle. In fact, Pachter believes you won't even see console sales hit their peak until "early next decade" (which is next year, of course). In addition, as costs are high and manufacturers are continually looking for ways to make things easier on consumers, multiple SKUs will come into play, as we've seen already. Pachter does mention the feasibility of the PS3 Slim and the upcoming bundles for the Xbox 360, and we can probably expect even more SKUs to come our way in the coming years.

Essentially, this report flies directly in the face of any rumors you may have heard that new consoles will be on sale within the next few years. It just seems very unlikely, according to this analyst.

6/30/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (41 posts)

Danny007
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 @ 10:01:06 PM
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Long live the consoles

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Morals
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 @ 10:15:38 PM
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I don't see what M$ is going to be doing with the Xbox 360 in 2012 mostly because of the DVD player it'll be like having a gaming console today running on CD's.

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www
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 5:24:04 AM

ffrulez, Wii will do okay, doesn't need enough space, look at the graphics. But 360 might have disc space issues since its games is supposed to be on par with ps3.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 @ 10:35:09 PM
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I'd have to agree with him, it just seems outta whack to deliver a new system before this gen is even over, so what's MS gonna do to compete? Not all games are receptive to being spread over multiple discs. (Open world)

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/30/2009 10:35:26 PM

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godsman
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 12:45:39 AM

I can imagine Microsoft introducing a new console in the next two years. It is easier for Microsoft to introduce BC. They can make one with Natal built in. Of course they have to test the market with Natal. If it's successful in the next year or two, a new console built-in is inevitable.

Sony on the other hand, has plenty of design potentials before maxing it out. It will stay for a bit.

Also I want to point out to the people that hate Pachter, he is just an analyst. He base his predictions on the present, assuming Sony and Microsoft makes no new moves. Even Nintendo is surprised on how successful the Wii is. You cannot blame Pachter to make his predictions based on business strategies by the three companies as well.

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www
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 5:23:30 AM

I think 360 will make do with multiple discs, people will just have to get their lazy ass up and change discs,oh and they should get used to it too ;)

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Qubex
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 10:43:21 AM

I think M$ is likely to introduce a new console before Sony again. The PS3 itself is actually a very powerful piece of hardware; but it needs more onboard ram... I think if it has a gig or 2 of onboard ram, devs would do amazing things with it...

Q!

"i am home"

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Tristan
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 @ 11:15:57 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if I would still be playing my PS3 10 years from now.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 2:47:52 PM

@Tristan
Yup, what you just said!

Matter of fact, I'm still playing games on my almost 10 year old PS2 that Sony & the developers are still supporting too!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/1/2009 2:49:50 PM

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kratos17
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 @ 11:18:28 PM
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if new consoles came out than the price would be disastrous

ps4 and 720 would probably be close to a thousand bucks

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Gregory Freeman
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 12:04:46 AM

the day a console cost's $1000 is the day the industry dies... no one will stand for it, and very few would buy one, or justify buying one...

alot of ppl still have trouble laying down 400 for the current consoles...

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LegionGT
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 7:36:28 AM

Just want to point out that the PS3 did cost exactly that - $1000 on release in Australia.

And still costs over $600, I purchased mine in a GTAIV bundle approx. one year ago for $720.

It is a disgrace. Our games on release (RRP) are $100+

I welcome anyone to do a currency conversion to AUS $ and still try and tell me we aren't getting ripped off over here. :(

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bridgera
Thursday, July 02, 2009 @ 2:31:12 PM

@LegionGT

$100 AUS = $80 US.

Still higher, but not insanely higher.

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Jalex
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 @ 11:55:22 PM
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Just a small note, but technically 'early next decade' would be 2011, not 2010. Of course I don't know which Pachter meant, so perhaps that point is moot.

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Ricochet
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 12:30:00 AM
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Despite the "six" year change SONY has been implementing for the last 2 PSX's. I think it's still way to early for a "next" gen console to hit the market. With both consoles not delivering their full potential (Note: I know Gears of War II is utilizing 95% of the 360 but it runs on the Unreal Engine 3). I can't wait what Alan Wake, Forza 3 or Splinter Cell conviction could deliver.

As for the PS3, Uncharted 2 better keep up the pace following Killzone 2 and inFamous respectively. That way, the path for Gran Turismo 5, GOW 3 and Heavy Rain will be smoothed out for even third party developers to be more inspired and put more effort to develop high quality titles for the PS3.

A wii HD would be great, I find it pissingly annoying that the Gamecube has more 480p games than it's successor.

Last edited by Ricochet on 7/1/2009 12:30:38 AM

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godsman
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 12:48:57 AM

It is DVD that is holding back XBox 360's potential. I'm sure Gears of War would be more amazing if its made with blu-ray. Forza 3 is multi-DVD and look how great the cars look.

PS3 is great, developers just take time to show PS3's true potential.

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Ricochet
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 6:15:14 AM

True but most 360 and developers don't see that as "much" as an advantage. Plus it didn't really help that the Bethesda mentioned that they had to triple the data inside the Blu-Ray just to make it run (I know they're the only company that does that) but still, it shows a bad light to the PS3 console. Hopefully Uncharted 2, GOW 3, Gran Turismo 5 and the like will slap those devs in the face to reality.

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Kangasfwa
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 12:56:40 AM
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How many of Nintendo's "casual" fans are really going to buy a Wii-HD? Will these "casuals" even be able to tell the difference? I'm starting to think Nintendo has finally managed to doom itself (like Sega).

The xbox is running on old tech (technically) and eventually MS is going to have to accept that its console is the less powerful one. Developers can still make great games, but they probably won't be pushing as many boundries. "Project Natal" is useless and an embarrassment. Can anyone really see themselves playing an RPG for long periods of time or flailing around with "casual" games using the motion camera?

Sony's machine is essentially future proof with its blu ray drive and CELL technology. The PS3 is more consumer friendly with its built in wifi and easily swappable hard drives, unlike both of MS's overpriced add-ons. And its motion tech is designed for real gamers, whether they are "casual" or "hardcore."

Last edited by Kangasfwa on 7/1/2009 1:00:03 AM

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Ricochet
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 6:21:17 AM

Too late to say "doomed" to Nintendo right now. So far it still is in demand but no supply, it reached the level of sales what took the PS2 nearly 10 years within a 3 year period and I see now signs of slowing down.

I agree on your 360 comments but developers are not really making it easy to see that way, from being the "better" looking ports and great exclusives, even other devs are beginning to think that the PS3 exclusives are too overhyped (Hopefully U2, GOW3, GT5 & Heavy Rain) will really show these guys what the PS3 is truly capable of. It's still 3 - 4 years and we're seeing a great future for the PS3.

From what I heard of Project Natal, it can be integrated with games like Mass Effect and Fallout 3, that would really "revolutionize" the gameplay. People have been saying the exact negative things about the Wii-mote but look where it is now?

And yes, Sony's console has always been "future" proof. Only 4 years and it's already showing the other consoles that it's improving at AN ALARMING rate.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 9:56:56 AM

I don't understand why some of you dislike the Wii as much as you do the 360. I get the disike for MS. But Nintendo? Nintendo going the way of SEGA is laughable. When you look at the 3 console makers Nintendo is in a whole new level. They have managed to reach a whole new demographic that MS and Sony have not. It's not really fair to compare the Wii with the PS3 and 360. The Wii is a beast of it's own. I'm mean come one to say that Nintendo is going the way of SEGA, your not paying attention. What's the Wii's install base? 50 million plus and climbing. The DS has over 100 million units in peoples hands. Nintendo is doing everything right. I'll admit as much a I love Nintendo I do like my PS3 more. I think it's okay to say Sony will be the victor in the end as they always are but to say Nintendo has doomed it's self is a joke. And by he way, I would buy a WiiHD.

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Kangasfwa
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 5:28:56 PM

@ Jawknee

Yes, the Wii has a huge install base, but I'm referring to the people who bought the Wii because it was a trendy gadget. I really can't see these "casuals" buying a WiiHD. I own a Wii and I don't see myself buying a WiiHD. Not unless they figure out how to make the motion controls better without having to buy an add on to make the m/c what it should have been in the first place.

Nintendo is sitting on a big pile of money that will not last forever. And while they're sitting on that big pile of money, we get a Zelda tech-demo-game and wii music. They even broke the Metroid series by turning Samus into some generic super ninja just to save face. And they only announced a new Mario just to maintain faith among its followers.

Nintendo's pursuit of the mythical non-gamer market has alienated the user base that kept them alive during the darkest hours of the Gamecube. Nintendo knows this. It's why they've made one pathetic attempt at redemption after another.

That's why I no longer like Nintendo. They have forgotten what it means to be a game company. Sony was rebuffed becuase of their arrogance. Sony took a kick in the pants and learned from it. Nintendo hasn't.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 6:23:27 PM

Samus a super ninja? Metroid Prime was always supposed to be 3 parts then they move on to something new. As far as I can see Samus is the same. Just a new game. You probably right about the casuals not upgrading to HD but that could change if they add Netflix support. besides, because of these casuals Nintendo has managed to do something no game company has done before. I don't think Nintendo has much to worry about. As long as they keep pumpin out Zelda's, metroids and marios I'll keep buying.

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Kangasfwa
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 7:00:49 PM

Metroid: the other M is not a new metroid game. It's a ninja game with Samus slapped on it. "the ohter M" is what everyone had expected Metroid Prime to be, an fps with Metroid slapped on it. The Metroid series is that very special series for me, that's why I'm upset about it.

And I'm saying Nintendo doesn't feel the need to release new Zeldas, Marios, or real Metroid games. Other than to pacify those that built their company anyway.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 7:49:03 PM

I know what you mean. The Prime series was the best FPS games I've ever played. But I do remember Nintendo saying Corruption was the last installment in the Prime series and wanted too move on to something else. I remember saying the same thing about Prime that your saying about Other M and when I finally got my hands on Prime I was blown away to my suprise. I guess I'm saying just wait. Other M might rock! As for Zelda. They always take forever to get released. It felt like we had to wait years for Wind Waker and then more years for Twilight Prinecess. Then we got Phantom Hourglass which was fantastic and next up is Spirit Tracks. Then soon after that well get what ever Nintendo has up their sleeve. Have you seen the concept art for the next Zelda? I don't know. Maybe I haven't noticed it but i'm used to long waits for Zelda games and Metroid games. Nintendo still has my attention.

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JofaMang
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 1:20:04 AM
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With his track record, I am more inclined to believe the exact OPPOSITE of what Pachter says.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 2:12:45 AM
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I think he's right, I think this will be the longest console cycle yet. In the absence of some new reason to upgrade my console, why do I need anything better than 1080p for games and movies?

I mean, unless 2160p or 3D 1080p suddenly makes a strong run at the consumer market, virtually every TV purchased in the next 10-20 years will be a 1080p set with HDMI. My PS3 will continue to provide everything needed of a home entertainment system for the foreseeable future and beyond.

So with no real driver for an upgrade cycle, the life of this generation will stretch.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/1/2009 2:15:09 AM

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Ricochet
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 10:23:13 AM

Fact is, the PSX and the Xbox have been competing with the PC for graphics, that's why we're seeing a tremendous improvement to this generation compared to the previous ones.


So far the PC has always been the "benchmark" of next-generation gaming. As of yet,it has 3 generations of graphic cards beyond that of the PS3 and the 360 and what does it come out with?

CRYSIS!

Seriously, do we need an upgrade?????? PC just lost. All it's now useful as to be the best and stable of all the "ported" games a bonus of having some 360 exclusives and just your everyday "improved" sequels like the Sims 3.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 2:56:12 AM
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Well, how about that......the mouth that roars finally gets one right!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/1/2009 2:56:32 AM

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 2:57:17 AM
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(I meant Pachter, btw)

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slayerkillemall
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 3:06:34 AM
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he may be 50% right,none of us really know which percentage,though i will say this;sometime at the end of ps3 10 years life cycle we WILL see a ps4,
if its not for resolution,it will be for a better RSX chip (ps3 needs it)with more ram,etc

maybe a faster blu-ray drive,and/or a new optimized cell,ie smaller,faster,more cores,etc
and some other features,about the ps2 backwards compatability,maybe by then it will make bussiness sense to include it in ps4,and keep ps3 as long as it sells (what sony is doing now with ps2) anyway these are just my thoughts...

slayer...

Last edited by slayerkillemall on 7/1/2009 3:12:06 AM

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 3:43:02 AM
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Yup, Sony's still supporting the PS2 heading right into it's 10 year cycle,

So no doubt the same goes for the PS3 too.

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BigBoss4ever
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 4:33:22 AM
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we dont need a PS4 or xbox 720 for now or for the near future. what we need is awesome games and the developers should keep up the technology so that they can master the software development.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 7/1/2009 4:33:35 AM

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 5:52:23 AM
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Here's what I see...

Next gen Xbox - late 2012 release

Playstation 4 - mid 2013 release

Next gen Nintendo - who knows and who cares? The Wii is so popular they don't even need to try anymore

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 9:15:23 AM

When the Wii sails past 140 million units, it will deserve what you say, until then, it's still to be determined.

I think you may be right for the next Xbox, but I think you're looking at 2014 for the next PlayStation iteration, and in both cases I would say that the new console will be an evolution of the one we have today, rather than an entirely new system. Both MS and Sony will be able to take advantage of advances in design and process to bring new PowerPC and Cell processors to their next console. The result should be binary compatible with today's consoles and an order of magnitude (or two) faster.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/1/2009 9:17:41 AM

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Qubex
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 10:44:31 AM

TheHighlander; do you agree though that any new console iteration should have more ram?

Q!

"i am home"

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 5:20:28 PM

@Qubex,

Absolutely. If the build cost of the PS3 hadn't already been so incredibly high, I think Sony would have included more system memory.

Personally, I think that if they had been able to put 1GB of XDR and 256MB of GDDR3 inside the PS3, we wouldn't even need this discussion about a future PS4.

That said....I think PS4 will arrive in 2013/2014 and will use the latest Cell design with more Power cores and more SPUs. It will likely use a new GPU, but whatever new GPU they use will be capable of emulating the RSX. I'm guessing that the PS4 will feature 4GB of main memory and 1GB of video memory. Anything more would be overkill for a gaming device that only has to render at 1080p. I'll go on record as saying that any future PS4 will contain better video scaling and anti-aliasing hardware.

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Button Masher
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 10:36:28 AM
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Just joined the fray and this is my first post! I think Sony's ahead of the curve wth PS3. By the time Nintendo and MS release their new consoles they may be on par with the PS3. At which point in time the PS3 will probably be WAY cheaper due to price drops, longevity in the marketplace and user install base. The newer consoles will likely have to be priced higgher as it's new tech for the respective companies.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 5:21:15 PM

I think you're right and that's the reason Sony is talking about a 10 year life, they really did design this beast for the long haul.

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Charger7302
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 2:51:47 PM
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If he's telling the truth, then this can only help the ps3, as it gives the ps3 alittle more time to catch up and hopefully win second place this generation.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 @ 4:53:01 PM
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The guy gets paid to state the obvious.

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bridgera
Thursday, July 02, 2009 @ 2:36:51 PM

That's exactly what I thought when reading the article.

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