Is Microsoft Accelerating Console Market?

Speaking at the ELSPA Games Summit in London, Gosen described the industry’s current generational cycle as a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” saying that the industry was stuck in a mindset where “five to six years is right, and come what may, we’re going to stick to it.”

While he admitted that it was too late to change this cycle this time around, he argued that it was vital that the industry break out of it in the future – and he had some particularly barbed comments for Microsoft, for whom he claimed that games profitability “is not their key motivation” in aiming to launch the Xbox’ successor during 2005, after only a four year lifespan for the original console.

“In every cycle, some manufacturer not profiting from the current cycle is eager to kick-start the next one,” he commented, but went on to suggest that first-mover advantage was not necessarily as important as it may seem, quoting the example of failed consoles such as the 3DO which launched well ahead of rival systems.

He also criticised the games media for focusing too much on next generation software and hardware, to the exclusion of the current generation. “For every game magazine editor bored with current products, there are hundreds of thousands of gamers around the world just discovering them,” he said.