Sony’s PlayStation 3 didn’t really start doing as well as it should have until the company released a smaller, cheaper model of the hardware. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 found its way in to more homes once they’d done a cheaper – and more reliable – hardware refresh. Many gamers are waiting for the same to happen with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 before they jump in to the new generations. When might that happen? Very possibly soon, says the Doritos pope himself, Geoff Keighly.
Speaking in the Xbox-centric latest Inner Circle podcast, good old Geoff Keighly (who was rather unfairly embroiled in that whole Doritosgate nonsense) spoke about what he believed might be happening with regards to new iterations of the existing consoles. He says it may be happening soon – but says that this time, Hardware manufacturers may actually upgrade their consoles to keep up.
“What I do think is that the idea of the same console platform staying as a locked target for five, six, seven years is not gonna happen, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see Xbox and PlayStation start to iterate on the hardware a lot quicker,” said Keighly in the podcast (Transcribed by Dualshockers)
I would Imagine, I don’t know, but I would imagine that the Xbox One is gonna do a refresh of the box at some point soon, much like they did last generation. You know, that’s a big piece of hardware for what’s inside of it.
The slim versions will come probably for both platforms in the next couple of years, but what will be interesting is, will they keep the hardware the same, or will Microsoft say hey, we actually wanna improve the graphics chip.”
While you might think that this is unheard of, it’s essentially exactly what Nintendo’s done with tits New 3ds; it’s an iterative upgrade of existing hardware, with a few new balls and whistles.
“That’s something that happens all the time in the PC space or in the mobile space. […] Traditionally consoles have always kept things the same, but I wonder now in the space with so many mobile phones iterating as quickly as they are, would Microsoft say “hey, we’re actually gonna improve the graphics, we’re gonna add more memory to the system.””
Of course, releasing an upgraded console early in the life cycle would do more than raise the ire of those who’ve thrown down a wad of cash
“The challenge is do you alienate the old consumers that brought the system and can’t upgrade… On Xbox 360 they brought up the system and a year later they decided to add an HDMI port to it. Everyone that didn’t have an HDMI Xbox was really upset at the time.
The way an executive at Microsoft described it to me was like “we see this console serve like cars. Every year there’s gonna be a new model of this Ford or this BMW that will come out, and they have some new features. We may start to upgrade like that.” They didn’t end up doing that in the Xbox 360 era, but I do wonder, and this is not specific to Xbox, I think it’s for every console manufacturer, at what point do you start to kinda improve the hardware, because I do think it’s gonna be hard for these systems to stay static for five plus years in this environment.”
Do you think Sony or Microsoft might release updated versions of their hardware with a little more processing power, or do you think it’d alienate the tens of millions of gamers who’ve already bought in?
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Last Updated: April 13, 2015