Xbox 720, PlayStation 4, uh, Wiii? None of these are going to happen, and if they do happen it's not going to be any time soon, says industry analyst Michael Pachter. According to him, this is the last console generation.
You can go ahead and take that 800 dollars you were saving up for a Xbox 720 or PS4 and try to inject your local economy with some cash flow, because according to Wedbush Morgan industry fortune teller supreme Michael Pachter, this generation will be the last generation of consoles. Ever.
"I think we've seen the last generation of consoles," Pachter said at the GamesBeat conference today. What Pachter saw in his crystal ball was this: Nintendo might release an upgraded Wii with HD and more storage, but Sony and Microsoft probably won't release another console. That's because there's just no more money in it, and third parties won't want it either.
"[Third party publishers] are not going to support a PS4 or Xbox 720," he said. "The content is not going to change in any meaningful ways because the publishers can't afford it." Instead, Pachter envisions a standard delivery form - maybe something like the recently announced OnLive cloud-based system that delivers on-demand gaming by crunching data on remote servers and displaying video over the intertubes to your PC or TV.
The developers of OnLive are on the same wavelength as Pachter. "This is the last major console cycle," OnLive's Steve Perlman said. "If not this one, then definitely the next one."
Pachter's peers, however, aren't as quick to jump to conclusions. Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital argued that there'd be one more generation that would hit by 2012, and David Cole of DFC Intelligence thinks that by 2012, the PS3 will be king of the software sales hill and Nintendo and Microsoft will be forced to put on new consoles.