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Will Microsoft be last to enter the next generation?

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Microsoft was first to launch its HD console this generation – and some engineering blunders aside, the headstart’s really helped the company grow the Xbox brand from being a mostly failed console to the most widely used (In North America, at least). In my mind, I imagine they’d want to repeat history by launching before its most direct competition, Sony. Michal Pachter seems to think otherwise.

While the general consensus is that we’ll be seeing next generation consoles from both parties next year, Pachter believes that Microsoft’s nnew hardware could be pushed back to 2014.

“We still have no indication of specs, timing or pricing for the Wii U which is slated to launch some time before year-end,” Pachter said in a research note “but Nintendo will announce launch date and price next week, with a price point of $299 – 349 likely.

“We have heard no word yet from Microsoft or Sony about their plans to launch new consoles, but both manufacturers are widely expected to launch consoles by year-end 2013, although we believe that Microsoft could delay a new console launch until spring of 2014 in order to accommodate what is certain to be overwhelming demand among hardcore gamers.”

Sorry what? Hardcore gamers? Is that Microsoft’s focus with the Xbox? That out of the way, I just don’t really believe Microsoft would want to be late to the next generation party – as they’ve seen that the “hardcore”  (the sort who don’t have any sort of maligned loyalty to any particular organisation that doesn’t actually care about them) tend to buy whichever machine gives them the flashy next generation graphics first. 

Interestingly, Gamestop’s CEO Paul Raines has said something similar, based on his own inside information.

“We have not been expecting two more consoles in 2013. We’re expecting Wii U this holiday, another one next year, and another one in ’14. These rumors change every week, but we’re hearing more about next year.”

It adds a small dash of credence to Pachter’s educated guessing, but beyond that – it’s all just speculation. what do you think? Is Microsoft brave and cocky enough to be the last to enter the next-generation race last?

Last Updated: September 5, 2012

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