Microsoft And Sony Targeting 2014 For New Consoles

The next Xbox and the next PlayStation won't be released until 2014, if Microsoft and Sony have their way, industry sources tell Kotaku.

Both companies are hoping to wait out the current generation, and extending an already elongated console life-cycle despite clear signs that Nintendo will launch its next machine by the end of 2012.

"Both MS and Sony are telegraphing to each other that they're delaying, to milk the current [generation]and fill in previous craters better," one insider who has worked with the first-party companies like Sony and Microsoft told us.

Other sources with access to first-party companies, speaking to Kotaku anonymously because they aren't authorised to be talking about Microsoft and Sony's plans, said that they too are hearing that 2014 is the target date, though some believe 2013 could happen if either company feels pushed.

Our insider believes that any new Xbox in 2013 would only be a Kinect-upgraded 360, not the next-gen console that would come in 2014. That source says that Microsoft doesn't even know what parts will be in the next Xbox. They say the company's board "is wrestling with whether to be profitable on day one", as Nintendo's Wii was presumed to be, or to once again launch a new console at a loss, which is what Sony and Microsoft usually do.

A wait for a new Xbox or PlayStation until 2014 would make the Xbox 360 the lead Microsoft gaming console for nine years and the PlayStation 3 Sony's chief console for eight. That would be an unusually long time for successful game consoles to retain their importance.

Microsoft launched the original Xbox in 2001 but quickly replaced the machine, which was expensive for the company to make, with the Xbox 360 in 2005. A more traditional console life-cycle would have positioned the Xbox 360 as Microsoft's newest machine for five years, the length of time between the first two PlayStations, or six years, the gap between the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64.

"I think we'll see a game of chicken between Sony and Microsoft," industry analyst Billy Pidgeon of the firm M2 Research told Kotaku. "Sony definitely isn't launching a successor before 2014 and could stand to benefit by having Microsoft launch first as PS3 builds in to North America and builds a strong position in Europe. Microsoft claims there's a lot more room in Xbox 360 for developers to max out, but here PS3 could have a strong advantage."

"Both MS and Sony are telegraphing to each other that they're delaying."

Pigeon believes Sony, in particular, has every reason to keep this generation going, to capitalise on the slow-launching PS3 and to maximise the "headroom" still available to developers on the powerful system.

Saying his company is "laser-focused' on its current machines and next handheld, Sony PlayStation spokesperson Patrick Seybold declined to "comment on rumours or speculation" about the company's future platforms.

Microsoft did not comment for this story by press time.

The continued prominence of the current Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 through 2013 squares with plans from publisher THQ to launch the game Devil's Third as well as a title made in collaboration with movie director Guillermo Del Toro for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2013. It would also make likely that expected but unannounced games from other publishers, the next Grand Theft Auto, for example,

Former Xbox executive Shane Kim told the press in 2009 that Microsoft would support the Xbox 360 through 2015, and the launch late last year of the Kinect sensor compelled Microsoft officials to say that the new peripheral will help expand the 360's relevance for years to come.

Nintendo can show its Wii successor machine to external game developers, as it is doing now, without worrying that it'll be trumped by other new consoles when it launches in 2012.

The slow recovery of the North American economy will also continue to discourage Microsoft and Sony from releasing new machines. "I don't think either Sony or Microsoft are interested in a new console till they can advance the technology, and they certainly don't want to launch at a $US600 price point," analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities told Kotaku. "It may take till 2014 to get 2TB hard drives, uber fast CPUs and state-of-the art graphics and sell at $US400."

The upshot of this is that it allows Nintendo to show its Wii successor to external game developers, as it is doing now, and to press, as it plans to do this June, according to industry sources familiar with the project, without worrying that it'll be trumped by other consoles when it launches in 2012.

While the Wii has lagged behind the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in terms of graphical horsepower, its next machine should bring it at least up to the level of technical muscle as its competitors. Should be a hit, then, according to Pidgeon, all this dawdling could end. "If Nintendo does very well with the next console," he said, "Microsoft and Sony will quickly get a lot more serious about next generation."


Comments

    The second last and fourth last paragraphs are exactly the same...

    How can Sony justify that date when all along they have touted the PS3 as more future proof and as a better investment because it'll have a longer lifecycle than the X360?

      What does that have to do with the release date of the PS4? Just because they release the PS4 doesn't mean they'll kill off the PS3. Hell, Sony are still selling the PS2 today even though the PS3 has been around for going on 5 years. You don't want to confuse the start of the PS4's life with the end of the PS3's.

    This is great news for all PC gamers, 2-3 years of PC centered games :D

      Call me a cynic, but I cant help thinking that all this means is 2-3 years of more profitable/easy console ports with the same obsolete graphics, which wont be updated until the next console comes out.

    Seriously, Nintendo are at risk of timing this poorly and pulling a "Dreamcast".

      I don't think so, they technically pulled a "Dreamcast" with the wii.
      Nintendo is not Sega, and Nintendo isn't making up for a "Saturn" they now have an obscenely huge base behind them - whatever Nintendo do next, will work out in some way, i'm sure

        Hopefully. I am all for them going uber-hardcore and tearing Sony & MS to shreds, but I cannot help but fear that they are just trying to be too clever for their own good with the whole 6inch screen on controller / game streaming thing.

        We shall see.

        I am excited, though last time I got this excited for a Nintendo console they gave me the GameCube...bastards.

        Do you really think so? Nintendo grabbed the casual market mass market with the gimmick of motion control and easily accessible mini-games. It had the boom of popularity the way the Furby & Cabbage Patch Kid did.

        This doesn't mean the millions who bought a Wii will buy a successor, especially if there's no clear reason for them to do so.

        Nintendo will always have their stable core market who will eat up new (or remade) Zelda & Mario games, but going back just one generation - it might not be enough to put them on top.

    Why does anyone seriously listen to Pachter? He's not correct any more frequently than anyone else and the stuff that he gets right is fairly obvious.

    While I'm happy to get the extra mileage out of my consoles, it's obvious there isn't much else to wring out of them. It says something about how big the tech leap is when you can now get more RAM in your phone than in a 360. Not to mention all the other gorgeous innovations becoming more prevalent on the PC side of things.

    Well the way I see it - the Wii launched a year after the 360 and more or less opposed the launch of the PS3. It sold well, and is probably responsible for the PS3's slow sales in it's early months.

    Most people I know who bought Wiis got tired of them very quickly, myself included.

    Far as I'm concerned, if Nintendo is unopposed in 2012 that gives everyone plenty of time to get sick of whatever they release to make room for a new XBox or Playstation in 2014. EXCELLENT.

    The only reason people will consider Nintendo's new console is because it'll be superior to what's currently available (like it should be, since the 360 will be 7 years old and the PS3 will be 6 years old by then).

    So if we see a PS4/XBox3 in 2014, logically it will blow Nintendo out of the water. Of course by then the Nintendo console will be appealling to the growing casual market by being cheaper than the PS4/XBox3...

    I know I'm probably in the minority here, but I am completely over Nintendo titles - I'm done with Mario, I'm done with Metroid, I'm done with Zelda, and I'm done with Pokemon. Third-party titles on Nintendo consoles generally suck.

    Whatever happens with the Wii2HD: Championship Edition, I'm passing on it. I guess by jumping into the next gen early Nintendo stand to make a lot of money, but I also feel like they're shooting themselves in the foot by stepping out of sync with the other contenders and throwing off the console 'generations'.

    When we look back in 10 years, I think we're going to see that Nintendo releasing an innovating - but underpowered - console like the Wii was a bad move for them strategically.

    Then again, consoles will probably be obsolete concepts by 2020 anyway. Maybe Nintendo is just trying to squeeze the market while there still is one.

    Wii 3 in 2016, calling it now.

      Nintendo always said the Wii was about making gaming a family experience and the wii ended up very much that way, an occasional activity for people who were not serious about gaming.
      I have seen them in everything from hospitals to age care facilities, and nintendo doubtless made a huge profit from hardware sales and licensing.
      It was a sensible followup to the Gamecube, which was strong hardware-wise and aimed st the hardcore market, but undersupported and released late in the generation. Ultimately, it failed and nintendo recovered in a fantastic fashion.
      What they do next cannot be predicted but they have put themselves out of direct competition with the current console generation with the wii and the next console will be the first of the next.

    A kinect updated version of 360 in 2013, and a new console in 2014... that seems like an idea that's only going to piss people off.

    I think we can wait 3 years for new consoles... but I fear MS are going to need to patch their software pretty extensively in the interim.

    Nintendo had to make up for the loss incurred by the Gamecube, thats why the went for the casual market. Now they have the power and the money to go back to hardcore gamers

    Im ready for a new nintendo device.

    not a new PS3 and Xbox. Mainly because I know nintendo wont try to charge me $600AU.

    IMHO I think Nintendo will reveal a cloud computing device. It will be a small set top box acting as a dumb terminal connecting to a cluster of virtual gaming machines out in the aether. This will allow a wide variety of games requiring varying degrees of computing resources. The more graphic intensive the game, the more powerful virtual machine the nintendo dumb terminal will connect to. It will be scalable in an elastic kind of way.

    Well, that's what I'd do anyway. Dumb terminal to virtual elastic gaming machine over high speed internet connection. There lies the future.

    Nintedo yes, MS not likely, Sony no.
    sony has a long way before its even closed to being maxed out, which is only happening with some 360 limitations. the wii is pretty outdated now and nothingn good about it, all it has is shovelware nowadays

    ME2 and Skyrim should keep me interested in the 360 for at least another year or so, but imagine what they could have done with these titles had they had next gen hardware to play with.

    I'd say consumer demand for better tech will drive that date forward to 2012/2013

    my opinion, instead of them putting a 2TB hard drive in, why not put an SSD in it? I am sure by 2014 they will be alot cheaper, imagine a 240gb SSD in a game console, brutal boot times, less power consumption, so they may be able to make the PSUs internal, and they would run the games so much better if you installed them on it, and if they somehow got trimming to work on the xbox OS, capacity isn't really an issue

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