Although we are still at the dawn of the next-generation of
consoles as we await the arrival of Wii and
PlayStation 3, Microsoft is already looking at the next-next-generation. With
the software giant's year-long head-start over its competition, its main
responsibility is more of a maintenance and improvement of the Xbox 360 toddler
rather than to be a frantic parent of a launch in its infancy.
Console generations are usually spaced five years apart.
Even with four years to go, Microsoft admits that it is already working on the
next Xbox, as revealed in a Kikizo video interview with European
Xbox boss Chris Lewis.
"Of course we're thinking about [the next Xbox]. We're
constantly thinking about the next thing, we have to. It's my point about
complacency - you can't sit back on your laurels in this business - the
consumer won't let you, the developers certainly won't let us. So that's
happening right now," Lewis reaffirms. "We keep our development
cycles very fast and high, that is the nature of the company and how we operate
in terms of research and development, and that's no different than any other
part of Microsoft."
Understandably, Lewis did not go further into the topic as
the current focus of Microsoft’s efforts is towards the Xbox 360. Lewis
believes that the next Xbox may be further away than some may think. Microsoft
wishes to maintain the lifecycle of the Xbox 360 longer than the scant
four years it did for the original Xbox by offering more options for
customization and upgrades such as the HD-DVD
add-on, 1080p capability and other
"We want to give people the chance to continue to
expand - either through accessories or storage, or the Live which continually
evolves and broadens - 360 can evolve in its own right, and that's an important
step that we took beyond [the original Xbox]."
Microsoft's acknowledgment of its plans for the
next-next-generation demonstrates its long-term commitment to its Xbox brand and
the console market.