Microsoft Plans To Support The Xbox One For Ten Years, The Parallels Are Eerie...

The parallels are starting to become eerie.

The PlayStation 3, releasing in the wake of the massively successful PlayStation 2, was a console that many gamers had issues with. Sony didn't want to focus on games, they wanted to sell their console as a multimedia device.

They wanted to sell a new technology, Blu-ray, into the device. Consumers would have to pay extra for that. Some people didn't like that idea.

Sony were keen to reiterate: they would support this console. It was the console of the future. This console would remain relevant for the next 10 years.

Now fast forward. We're on the cusp of the Xbox One launch, a console being released in the wake of the successful Xbox 360 device. A package containing Kinect, a device that not everyone wants, but we have to pay extra for.

Now Microsoft has just stated that the launch of the Xbox One is the beginning of a "ten year journey". This is getting weird.

"For us, it's not just about the launch date. It is about the start of the journey where the console will be improved and will be adapted and changed," said Phil Harrison, as reported by Gamespot.

The parallels: they keep on coming.

It's insane to me just how similar the lead up to the Xbox One launch is compared with the PS3 launch. It's scarily similar. The vibe from consumers is almost precisely the same: worried about the move away from games as a primary function, worried about new tech, considering playing it safe with the cheaper, rival console. Do major companies have the ability to learn from history? It seems the answer to that question is 'no'.

It's an interesting one, because despite a shaky launch, the PlayStation 3 did end up being a relatively successful console in the end. Over the last few years in particular the PlayStation 3 really began to deliver on its initial promise and that 'ten year cycle' thing? Seven years later and the console is still going strong. I expect Sony will continue to support the console over the next three years, so that '10 year' statement has become more than bluster, it has become reality.

Looking back at those precedents, what does that mean for Microsoft and the Xbox One launch? Well, it means that I believe Phil Harrison when he says Microsoft will support the Xbox One for ten years. It means that I expect consumers will struggle in the beginning, but eventually be won over by the Xbox One. It probably means that, as bad as the lead up to the console's launch has been with regards to messaging, the Xbox One will most likely still do extremely well in the long term.

If the parallels continue, of course.

Xbox One is a "more than 10-year journey" Microsoft says [Gamespot]


    Wow, didn't know people were put off by BD, I always took it as an extra bonus like the way PS2 did DVD.

    I ended up going 360 because, at the time, it had more exclusive games I was interested in. I was always a little saddened it didn't have BD.

    And yeah, now I prefer my PS3 & play it more often.

      I went with 360 because I won it... I'd have much prefered a ps3, but I can't complain much. It was a free 360.

      People were put off by it because at the time it wasn't certain that BD was going to win over HD-DVD and by including it in the console they strongly contributed to the very high launch price (and even then Sony was making a loss on every console sold for at least a couple years).

        I understand why, I just didn't ever hear the complaints.

        I was always under the impression that the company who invented the CD & DVD had won the BD Vs HD battle before it had begun.
        I was suprised MS bothered at all with that HD expansion for 360, sounded stupid to me and then failed miserably.

          Because Sony have lost the clear majority of media format wars before they'd even begun (eg Betamax vs VHS or 'Memory Stick' vs SD card).
          Besides, the CD and DVD were collaborative efforts with Philips and other companies, but for a while there with BD Sony was the only big name.

      They weren't put off by BD per se, but more so by its price. It meant that the console was ridiculously expensive, and somewhat needlessly so. The fact that Blue Ray has become the primary format for physical film releases is overshadowed by the rise of digital film distribution as a viable alternative.

    Also interesting (to me): In our current gen wars, for many years the PS3 was the hard to develop for, worse in terms of "power" system, that was outclassed by the 360 on cross-platform titles all the time. In next gen the PS4 has taken a shift to standard computer parts with a big focus on ease of accessibility for developers, while the Xbone (while still running fairly standard computer parts) is noticeably less powerful in a raw spec state, but has some truly fascinating extra hardware in it that could help close the gap assuming you're dealing with a skilled studio.

    The blu-ray aspect was one of its biggest selling points for me - I bought a launch PS3, and still use it as my primary blu-ray player. It was hella expensive when it launched though, so for people who wanted just a games machine, I can see it being a negative at the time.

    Kinect doesn't have anywhere near the same appeal, as its utility remains a "wait and see what we may be able to do with it", compared to blu-rays instant (and proven) use to play hi-def movies (admittedly in small numbers to begin with, but they were available, and were awesome).

    Il get the Xbox at launch and pick up the ps4 when naughty dog release whatever they are working on next.

    That's funny, I find it hard for myself to support the Xbox One for ten years :)

    The support for the Xbox 360 is purportedly going to end in 2016. That's a 10 year support life cycle too.

    Why is it eerie that the Xbox One is going to have the same support life cycle as its predecessor? Or should I be comparing everything Xbox One to the PS3?

      While the 360 looks like having a ten year life cycle, and the XBox One is committed to having a ten year life cycle, the original XBox was dropped like a hot rock pretty much as soon as the 360 was released, if not beforehand. I remember at the time being astonished at how quickly the original XBox and its games disappeared from store shelves. When I bought my 360 a year or so after it was released, the only games still available for the first gen XBox were second hand.

      Contrariwise, the PS1 and PS2 were both supported for well over ten years, with new PS2 releases coming out well after the PS3 was released. God of War 2, Persona 4, Rock Band, the Buzz! games and quite a few others came out well after the PS3 was released. Some stores still stock new PS2 games today - there was a new FIFA 14 release for PS2 even this year.

      That said, the XBox did not have the market dominance that the PS1 and PS2 had. Maintaining support of a platform with a huge userbase isn't all that remarkable. (Compare with Microsoft's handling of Windows XP, which had support extended a couple of times.) The difference this time is that MS are committing to that window in advance, and I believe that this is the first time they have done so for a console.

      It probably helps that the 360 had a lead on the PS3 for most of this console generation. It's not really possible to call whether that lead still exists - both consoles have misleading sales statistics, the 360 due to replacement sales to cover early RRoD issues, the PS3 because so many people bought it as a (for the time) cheap Blu-Ray player.

        So what you are saying that Sony set the standard console life cycle at 10 years and Microsoft are following it. Still nothing eerie about it. ;)

        BTW I congratulate you for using the word "contrariwise". I had to look that one up.

    Don't forget that the ability to offload processing to 'The Cloud' seems remarkably similar to PS3s original claim of being able to harness the additional cell processors in your fridge... and your washing machine.

      Its nothing like that. Considering the first games have already started utilizing some of the functionality, I do not see why you would make that claim.

      Yeah, i played pacman and my washing machine at my socks like they were dots... something is wrong here

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that. It's going to be a very interesting year next year.

    Last edited 27/09/13 11:57 am

    Um...Microsoft also said they'd have a 10 year cycle with the 360. It's almost 8 as we speak.

    "10 years" doesn't mean 10 years between generations. It means 10 years before the console is officially discontinued.

    As you said yourself, The PS3 is still going 7 years later and shows no major signs of slowing down either. No need for such a troll bait headline.

      Hell, there are still games being released for the PS2!

    What I think seeing is two things;
    - MSFT having big plans for the product and keen desire to implement their strategy over a 10 year period
    - the ability of MSFT to communicate their plans and strategies for the product to conservative consumers (gamers) and get them on board with *gasp* CHANGE!!!

    MSFT obviously want to turn the XBone into the one entertainment device to win the battle of the lounge room. Gamers, who only care about getting their CoD/GTA/whatever fix, don't understand or care about this. MSFT marketing has failed, to a large extent, to bring those gamers on board as the early adopters. You need to cover that base before you can move on to families and non-gamers who might consider using the XBone as an alternative to a smart TV or a set-top box by itself or an AppleTV/Google.thing.

    I think the MSFT positioning (which included technically sound but unpopular components such as DRM & always-on) was too far ahead of the audience. They went straight out with a message to a wider audience (who weren't listening) and forgot their actual audience for go-live, which is gamers. You can see how they made that mistake tho, they were so excited by this vision of the XBone's wider entertainment capabilities and the market that they decided that the pitch needed to be to that wider audience from day 1. And if you look at some of the financial figures for Xbox 360 vs PS3 their strategy is right; revenues from core gaming have stagnated for Sony. MSFT did better out of Xbox 360 due to the payed Live subscription. But across both platforms the profits from targeting the core gamer market have declined. Both Sony & MSFT have to widen the net in order to make good margin on these devices/services.

    You could argue that MSFT lost the gen 4 console launch battle but I honestly think they have a better strategy and better ability deliver than Sony which will mean that once they get geared up they will win the war. Will they win the war for the lounge room? Now that is a different question.

    Modern Consoles have all the disadvantages of a PC, with none of the advantages.

    (Here is a long winded and only mildly entertaining story about how I found this out. Please keep in mind that this is just one mans opinion, and not a particularly clever man at that.)

    When I finally got a PS3 a few years back, I asked my brother-in-law to help set it up.

    "What's it doing now? I don't get it." I asked my bro.

    "It's connecting to the internet." He says.

    "But I don't want it to do that. I just want to spend 5 minutes seeing if this game works." says I.

    "You gotta update the system software" he says, or something.

    "It has an operating system?" I ask.

    "DUH. Of course." He says.

    "Pffft. Why 'duh'? The PS2, and older model, had a more stable system, which didn't need to be updated online. Why isn't any of this shit written on the PS3 box?" I ask.

    "It is. Look, do you want my help or not?" he replies.

    "Of course. It just flies in the face of what I thought I was buying, the very reasons I wanted the console in the first place." I state.

    "God, you're so old-fashioned" he says.

    We wait for a few hours while it updates, and then I finally get to try to play the game. I think it was Assassin's Creed, because he was saying I'd like it.

    "Dude, what's this? What's happening NOW?" I ask.

    "It's patching the game." He says.

    "Dude, this is very important to me: Is that normal nowadays? Is this going to be part of my PS3 experience?" I ask.

    "Yeah." he says. "Why?"

    "Well, you just let me know if you ever want to borrow it. Thanks for your help. We're done here." I say, and start walking out of the room.

    "What are you doing?" he asks, confused.

    "Going to play on a superior system with superior graphics and the ability to use mods, where I'm USED to this annoying shit. I only wanted a PS3 because I thought it would be a *convenient* way to play games."

    "Cool. Can I borrow it right now?" he asks me hopeful.

    "Yes. And please never return it."

    Now, based on the Xbox, Xbox 360, and everything I've heard, I can't see the Xboner being mainly concerned with convenience, either. Seriously, how is it not merely an over-priced yet low-end PC stuffed in a box with a controller? Screw that noise.

    Unless, you know - I wanna watch TV. I hear it's GREAT for that.

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