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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Life cycle of consoles spells fun in '06

Life cycle of consoles spells fun in '06

"You thought it was hard waiting until last Sunday to see what ol' St. Nick put under the tree? For fans of the latest in video-game technology, Christmas comes but once every five years.

The good news is 2006 is one of those years.

The life cycle of modern game consoles is roughly 60 months, at which point aging technology gives way to the latest advances in silicon and the next iteration of the machine comes out. That's when early adopters rationalize why they "need" to drop five bills on a new game console with more bells, whistles and klaxons than their current hardware.

So it was with the Xbox 360, which jumped the queue a bit by coming out in November, four years after the original Xbox, in order to get a head start on juggernaut Sony.

But as Microsoft scrambles to build a quick lead, 2006 will mark the year Sony either asserts its continuing dominance with the release of PlayStation 3 or finds Bill Gates and company are a more formidable foe than they expected.

And Nintendo will gamble that a large segment of the population is less interested in system specs than new and novel ways of playing games, as a console code-named Revolution (and we'd be surprised if it ended up being called anything else) arrives with the single most innovative controller since the Nintendo Power Glove.

Let the games of 2006 begin." [more]

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