According to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, the next iteration of the Xbox console (widely rumored to the called Xbox 720) won't be available until 2014.
Multiple rumors have suggested that Microsoft is preparing to launch a new Xbox console during 2012 to counter pressure from Nintendo's Wii U, but according to Pachter, all Microsoft will do for 2012 is revamp the existing 360 line.
"Those rumors are silly. Microsoft is still selling a ton of Xbox 360s, and they won't replace the existing one until sales begin to slow. I think the rumors are based upon leaks about modifying the current Xbox 360 to allow it to operate Windows 8," Pachter told IndustryGamer. "I fully expect a new model of Xbox 360 by holiday 2012, but don't think we see a new console altogether from Microsoft until 2014."
In many ways this makes sense. The 360 is selling well, and there's room to shave more off the retail price of the console. It's also good news for people who have bought a 360 in recent years and invested in games. It means their console will stay fresher for longer. It's also much cheaper (from both an engineering, technical and marketing point of view) to bring an updated console to market than it is to push a new console.
The only problem is that the 360 is old technology. Six years old to be exact. Sure, the console has seen a few facelifts in that time, but under the hood (where it counts) it's still the same old console. And that's creating a problem for games developers who are having to use clever tricks to get more out of these ancient technology. The gulf between the processing power of a console and a modern gaming PC is huge, and that's only going to get worse if we have to wait until 2014 before seeing a console refresh. Take a game like 'Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim' for example. I've seen this played on Xbox 360 and PS3 (and PC, which is my platform of choice), and there are times when the framerate tanks dramatically because the console can't keep up with the game. You'd expect poor graphics from a six year old PC, call it a day and admit that it was time to upgrade, but with the Xbox 360 or PS3, you're stuck in dim and distant the past.
Thoughts? Would you like to see a completely new Xbox in 2012 or are you happy with your 360?