Extending the lifecycle of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is the biggest mistake Sony and Microsoft have ever made, according to Square Enix’s worldwide technology director Julien Merceron, who believes that holding off on new hardware has allowed powerful rival platforms to emerge.
“We have Sony and Microsoft talking about this generation lasting 7, 8, 9 or even 10 years and it’s the biggest mistake they’ve ever made,” he said. “This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform. You could not do that with this generation though. So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener.”
“They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won’t come back to the hardware platforms,” he predicted. “So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out,” he added.
The major reason behind this elongated lifecycle is the economic climate, I think if things were healthier then the consoles would have been out by now. Sadly, it’s just too risky at the moment to release new consoles, there’s no guarantee that everyone could afford the upgrade. So I think it’s more of a forced decision, it may turn out to be a bad one, but it was necessary to prevent failure.
Should Sony and Microsoft have waited this long?