Microsoft/Sony: No new consoles in 2012

Epic's Tim Sweeney: upgrades must deliver “dramatic leap in quality”

Both Sony and Microsoft have told French publication Le Point (via CVG) that consumers shouldn't expect to get their hands on new consoles before 2013. Microsoft France's Cedric Delmas told the magazine he was “certain... that there will be nothing new in 2012.” Similarly, Philippe Cardone, French PlayStation CEO, points out that his company was the last to join the current generation (paradoxically and infamously beginning said generation), and as such “will probably be the last to announce something” new.

Above: Hope and pray that the Internet has enough crack to turn out another 6-12 months' worth of "concept images" for the new machines

Both speakers display a reluctance to be measured on the same timeline as ostensible rival Nintendo. “We are not here to deal with Nintendo and they are not there to fight against other manufacturers,” argues Delmas, saying the company has “placed itself in a different cycle” with the Wii and DS lines. “The Wii is pressed for time because it is in decline,” suggests Cardone, a pressure that doesn't apply to his company. Delmas is more diplomatic: “they advance at their own pace, successfully as we have seen with the Wii, and now it is their turn to present their innovation.”

Epic's Tim Sweeney, speaking to Venture Beat, applauded Sony and Microsoft's decision to hold off on a premature upgrade. While it's “harder to generate the same excitement from the same hardware” after a certain point, Sweeney points out, with a new machine “you reset the installed base to zero and it’s a lot harder to sell a lot of games again.” Sweeney, whose company was influential in the hardware design of the Xbox 360, says an upgrade is only due “when you can make a dramatic leap in quality, not just 2X or 3X. It has to be huge and fundamentally new.”

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