Microsoft's Shane Kim recently claimed that, just like the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 will have a ten-year life cycle.
"Playing the long game" has been Sony's traditional fallback rationalization for the slow start of the PlayStation 3. All the way back in mid-2007, SCEA President Jack Tretton said Sony was committed to the PlayStation 3 for "the next ten years and beyond," a figure that was often repeated by company executives as they assured gamers that the console wouldn't be prematurely abandoned.
Now Microsoft says that it too has a ten-year plan for its console, driven by major innovations like Project Natal. "We firmly believe that the Xbox 360 has a life cycle through 2015," Kim, vice president of strategy and business development for Microsoft's game division, said in an interview with VentureBeat. "Project Natal is a great innovation. It will work with every Xbox 360 sold. It's not about pushing more pixels on the screen. It's about how to break down barriers that stop people from playing games."
Kim said Microsoft's commitment to Project Natal and the Xbox 360 is also visible in recent changes to its in-house development studios, noting that while Microsoft recently closed Ensemble Studios and Aces Game Studio it had also acquired Big Park Studio. "We made some hard decisions in the past. We made good decisions. We are still committed to first party. The Big Park acquisition should demonstrate that to folks," he said. "We were positioning for things like Natal and I don't think the talent at Ensemble or Flight Simulator were necessarily the right studios for that."