The Next Xbox may be just around the corner, but Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer has predicted that the Xbox 360 has over 24 months of live left in it.
"Right now the Xbox 360 is really healthy and it's doing incredibly well,” he told GameSpot. “I think the 360 has a lot more than two years [left]. It has legs for a long time.
"The nice thing about the Xbox 360 right now is – if you look – we're the number one console globally. We're able to bring in new content and still support the best of the core games.
"It's a platform that has really reached scale; this is the time when you really see the great content showing up. The future in a lot of ways is always tomorrow: [things like] the SmartGlass technology and Windows 8 [show that] things are going to constantly evolve.“
There are two ways one could interpret the statement.
The first is that it will be another two years until the Xbox 360’s successor is released. The second, and far more likely, is that Microsoft plans to support its legacy platform after it launches the Next Xbox.
Still, with Xbox 720 expected to hit in Q4 2013, that means Microsoft is only committing to a year’s worth of Xbox 360 support post launch. That’s an improvement over the original Xbox, which was famously and unceremoniously dumped by MS the moment the 360 arrived.
Sony, meanwhile, has proved an expert at evolving the long tail of its products, with the PS2 still selling strongly in some countries five years after the arrival of PS3.
Indeed, publishers such as EA still release games on the platform.