So, most of you have probably already read Sterling's post on how the PS3 could be uber,
as I did just a little while ago. It's a great post, and along with the news of Warner Bros going BR exclusive,
and the HD-DVD camp bailing on CES,
it got me thinking about how the PS3 may actually have a chance this year at turning their sales around.
Let's pretend for a moment it's today, next year
. So it's the beginning of January 2009, and Sony has just kicked some real ass over the holiday season. Let's say Sony has sold (to customers
) 12 million units in one year, helped by all the AAA 2008 releases. M$ has sold around 18 million total, but there are major problems, the 360 is still selling poorly in Japan, the “red-ring” fiasco has spurned new buyers, and the sales are really slowing down.
With the release of Home, it's very own achievements, and a “fee-driven,” heavily updated PSN Network, the PS3 takes over the 360's early lead and sells like crazy. The 360's sales continue to decline each year, and the Wii just continues to sell (~$125 MSRP by then). We end up with sales that look something like this...
Ignore the ???? for now, but you smart people may already know where I'm going with this...
So, now lets pretend it's two years from now, the beginning of 2010. Sony has taken a major lead on Microsoft to the point of no return for the 360. Sony's “long-term, 10-year” plan is working, and the console is really starting to hit it's stride at the half-way mark. It's all looking up for Sony, with everything finally starting to go their way.
All the way up to this point, I've let it play out like a PS3 fanboy's greatest wet dream, but anyone who thinks Microsoft will go the way of SEGA has no clue of the tenacity that the big M attacks a market with. As soon as the PS3 starts to get into it's real swing of sales, Microsoft will drop the bomb...
On November 15, 2001; the original Xbox was launched, marking Microsoft's entrance into the console world of gaming...
Four years and 7 days later
the 360 was born. Skimming a year off of the normal 5-year turnaround on consoles, Microsoft jumped the gun (and mauled Sony) by releasing the as soon as they could. Using this advantage they took the console world by storm, and managed to make itself the only “Next-Gen” console for an entire year.
Now, imagine what will happen 3-4 years from now when Microsoft follows the same course and announces the Xbox 1080, taking full advantage of all the new effects and the new ultra resolution textures. Those “????” in the graph can easily be 1080, and could easily sell millions it's first year as (yet again) the only “next-gen” console. DX10 will have been finalized and should
be streamlined at that point allowing for some amazing “real life” blur effects (as we've started to see in Crysis and such), and HDTV's will be prevalent meaning everyone can take advantage. With a few years of hardware advancing, the 1080 could easily pummel the “cell and BR” just by using more current technology.
If Microsoft releases this console in 2010-2011 while the PS3 is still working on it's “ten-year life cycle.” Imagine all the graphics whores who spent all that time rooting for the Cell and BR, only to have a new Xbox come out and raise the bar well before Sony can even muster a response. Let's face it, we all know Sony is just finally starting to turn a profit, and won't really see “black” in the books till at least the end of this year... does anyone think after the fiasco of a launch that the PS3 had, that Sony is at all willing to develop a new system till they've sucked every ounce of life out of the PS3? Their ten-year plan isn't just a plan at this point, it's a necessity.
Presenting the Xbox 1080...
Only time will tell, no one knows what's gonna happen in this new and crazy market, but it's always fun to guess...
((EDIT = JUST as I posted this, Sterling posts "Is there an Xbox 720 in the works?"
That's way to fucking weird! I am ALL KNOWING!))