An analyst from Lazard Capital Markets laid down a pretty safe bet in an investor note today by stating,
At this point, we believe the consensus opinion among industry professionals is that the next significant hardware refresh is unlikely to occur before 2011, and more likely in 2012.
Colin “Captain Obvious” Sebastian went on to say that the possible exception might be Nintendo in which they may opt to beef up the Wii.
Noting that the original Xbox had about a 4-year run, GameCube about 5 and the PS2 about 6 years only highlight the redundancy of the report. Since it is already creeping up on 2009, (end of summer is here, face it) there’s not much punch behind the statement.
All of the (current) next-gen systems (even the Wii) are pretty big improvements on their successors by ay measure, so they should be able to hold their own for at least the next three years, one would think.
Then, again, there is that whole exponential rate of technology to consider… maybe at some point we’ll start seeing new systems every 4 years, then 2, then 1… Hmmm, maybe 2012 is a bit far-sighted… I guess I’d like to see at least one more console before the Mayan Calendar destroys us all.