Many gamers are fine with an extended console life cycle for this generation, as are several outspoken developers.
But not everyone thinks a console cycle lasting 7-10 years is a good idea. Take Square Enix Worldwide Technology Director Julien Merceron, for example, who told GamesIndustry.biz that Sony and Microsoft's decision to elongate this generation was the "biggest mistake they've ever made."
Merceron weighed the pros and cons of releasing a new machine with simple architecture versus a console with a complex makeup. He also said he'd like to see Sony ditch the Cell and proprietary tech in the next generation. Added Merceron:
"Now you don't need to manage longevity by complexity of programming, because your longevity is ensured by your online model. And I would suggest that maybe we don't want long generations. We have Sony and Microsoft talking about this generation lasting 7,8,9 or even 10 years and it's the biggest mistake they've ever made.
This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform. You could not do that with this generation though. So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won't come back to the hardware platforms. So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out."
Do you believe that the added years in this generation have opened the door for other platforms? Or do you think that would've happened, anyway? Personally, I don't think launching the PS4 or Xbox 720 earlier would've had the slightest impact on the casual/mobile gaming explosion, which was inevitable given the extreme popularity of smartphones and tablets. But that's just me.