The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 could be the last of their kind, if Twitch TV CEO Emmett Shear is to be believed. Shear, speaking to The Guardian at the Changing Media Summit in London, said that as the current console lifecycle is more prolonged than that of other technology, it will soon be abandoned.
“The problem is, the seven-year upgrade lifecycle doesn’t work in the face of the two-year upgrade cycles for every other hardware platform,” Shear said. “It’s so intrinsically built into how consoles get manufactured and made and the full business model, that I’d be surprised to see another generation.”
Twitch TV, the live video game streaming platform, was co-founded by Shear in 2011, and in that short time he has already seen console manufacturers try to accelerate the process.
“They’re going to have to change form,” he said. “You can already see this on both Xbox and PlayStation where there’s a tighter upgrade loop for both the operating systems and the games. This is the first step toward being able to iterate the hardware platform. I could imagine a version 1.1 product from both Microsoft and Sony which adds in slightly more speed and slightly more memory very similar to how phones and tablets work today. I think it’s going to look more like the mobile phone market over time.”
Shear’s opinion does not come from a sense of wish-fulfilment, though – he admits that game consoles have been a boon for his business:
“The consoles have been huge for us – they drive a tonne of broadcasting. We’ve seen the rise of a few games that have done very well because of consoles, notably FIFA and Call of Duty. The top end of broadcasting still tends to come from PC – if you want to produce high-end content you want more than is going to be prepared for you in any off the shelf set-up, but it’s gotten a lot of people started in broadcasting and that’s really important. It’s been a smashing success as far as integrations go.”
Shear, though, seems to have neglected poor Nintendo in this discussion. Only last week, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed that the company was working on a new console, codenamed the ‘NX’.
Source: The Guardian