MS: Next Xbox may not replace Xbox 360

Posted by Mike Luttrell

It's possible that when Microsoft releases its next console gaming platform, it won't outright kill off the Xbox 360.

At least, that's a sentiment that Microsoft VP Chris Lewis gave in a recent interview with UK news site Metro.co.uk.

Even before the Xbox 360 first came out in 2005, Microsoft championed its plans to make the console a 10-year platform, which would lead most to believe that the next Xbox wouldn't be until 2015.

However, Lewis, who heads up the Xbox division in Europe, eased off on that itinerary just a bit.

"Well, we think we’re more than halfway through but given we are still growing, we think we’re at a healthy part in the life cycle still because we’ve pumped this adrenaline into the arm of the business with Kinect and the scope and scale of what that means for publishers and developers I think is huge. And indeed with Xbox Live which does truly stand us apart from everybody else. So we think we’re a little over halfway with the life cycle of the console, but that’s not to say there won’t be an overlap," he said in the interview.

In other words, it looks like the next iteration of Microsoft's home console might come before 2015, but the plan is to keep supporting the 360 until the end of that 10-year life span.

"I’m not going to announce specifically or talk about timing. But you could imagine there could be overlap, it depends. We’re not being specific about the next generation at this stage. We’re very fixated on what we’re doing right now and the success we’re enjoying," Lewis confirmed.

The Xbox 360 has done a good job of staying relevant through firmware updates, but some of its hardware specs make it difficult to last the test of time. Additionally, there is a huge amount of fragmentation in hardware, unlike the PS3 and Wii which have retained their core specs from day one.

So another Xbox would seem to be due in the next couple years. If Lewis's comments are anything to go by, that could definitely be the case.