The original Xbox launched in November of 2001, and Microsoft stopped manufacturing the console in early 2006. Microsoft expects its successor, the Xbox 360, to enjoy a significantly longer life span.
Speaking with tech blog VentureBeat this week, Microsoft games division executive Shane Kim said the company believes that the Xbox 360 will enjoy a 10-year lifespan. The system originally launched in November of 2005, and Kim said Microsoft has projected the 360 life cycle to run through 2015.
The 10-year life cycle is Sony's long-standing goal for the PlayStation line of systems. Sony discontinued the original PlayStation more than 11 years after its debut, while the PlayStation 2 will celebrate its ninth birthday later this year.
According to one industry observer, this week's announcements of motion-sensing control systems for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will help those platforms achieve such goals. Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian released a note to investors in which he said the new technology could provide the next big growth driver for the industry, as well as extending the current console cycle.