Originally Posted by number1laing
So you think MS and Sony will turn their consoles into iPads, where they release new ones every year for $300+? Maybe. I'm sure they considered it. It's not something they would do right away though.
MS has already been testing a new profit model. They sell a new 360 for $99 with a multi-year XBL contract. It's just like a phone. It ends up subsidizing more frequent hardware refreshes and revisions. If consoles were that cheap upfront, people would be more than willing to upgrade every year or two. It would also potentially be a way around problematic hardware (RRoD) since many consumers would just "trade up" before the thing craps out. Not a good thing from consumers' perspective, but it sure would be appealing to the manufacturers.
Originally Posted by Louquid
I don't think consoles should be upgraded as frequently as phones. I think it's a bit silly for people to upgrade their phones more often then every few years or so, but I digress.
I agree that it's silly, but that doesn't stop it from happening. Disposable goods are the source of increased profits in nearly every industry.
Consoles are meant to evolve through content, not hardware. But that is the problem next gen consoles are facing. They can't simply rely on game makers to be able to optimize the next gen system in the span of 6 years. It just doesn't seem as though it will take that long to make full usage of the next systems. Perhaps gaming technology is advancing faster now?
Indeed it is. If you do any gaming on mobile platforms, you're pretty familiar with just how rapidly the tech is advancing. It's truly insane. At some point it's got to level off, but right now gaming performance is booming on mobile platforms with major leaps every 3-6 months. If consoles decide to emulate the business model of mobile (as MS already has), then consoles could also undergo rapid tech revisions every 6-12 months.
It could happen. If it doesn't, it won't be for lack of trying.