Many gamers look back at the PS2 era as the golden era in gaming. It’s after all the best selling console in the history of our industry and hosts some of the best games that ever graced a console. The PS2, which launched in 2000, was discontinued in 2013 – making it the longest generation for any console. The PS3 stuck around for about 10 years, which saw a small lifespan drop. Now with the PS4 selling just as well, if not better than the PS2, Sony believes that the 13-year lifespan of any one console is very likely never going to repeat itself.
The guys over at PlayStation Lifestyle got hold of the September copy of Edge magazine that features an interview with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe President, Jim Ryan. He’s under the impression that those long console generations are over:
“It’s a very interesting question. The cultural phenomenon of regular updates to smartphones and tablets is without question, perhaps subliminally, coloring mindsets. And the days of a 13-year PlayStation 2 cycle will almost certainly never repeat themselves. But equally, a platform is a very delicate ecosystem, and if that platform is to succeed, you’ve got to give those who make content for it the chance to recoup on it. At the end of the day, like it or not, these are businesses.
“We struck – and Microsoft has as well – a good balance of innovation within the confines of the platform. Also, services which operate agnostically of particular hardware, like PlayStation Now for example, are something you’re going to see more of. I think we’re only six months into PlayStation 4 Pro, and it’s too early to tell. The Xbox One X hasn’t launched yet. I don’t know if this is the way forward or not.”
Times have changed and we’re all seeing these mid-generation consoles changing up the business model of the console industry – whether you buy into it or not is up to you. At least, so far, no one has been forced to make that upgrade with the base model PS4 generally still performing well enough with most titles.
It’s also important (and perhaps interesting) that gamers should note that the PS2 life cycle was a very unique one. Here is the life cycle for other consoles, which is based on their respective PAL release and discontinued times:
- PS1 – 6 years
- PS2 – 13 years
- PS3 – 10 years
- NES – 9 years
- SNES – 7 years
- N64 – 6 years
- Gamecube – 5 years
- Wii – 7 years
- Wii U – 5 years
- Xbox – 5 years
- Xbox 360 – 11 years.
- SEGA Master System – 5 years
- SEGA Mega Drive – 7 years
- SEGA Saturn – 3 years
- SEGA Dreamcast – 2 years
On average that comes to a console life cycle of 6.5 years.
Most gamers often forget that the PS2 was a very unique time in gaming that lasted much longer than previous console generations. Should the PS5 launch in early 2019 they’re basically sticking to the average of console cycles. We think Jim Ryan’s thinking is right on the money.