Sony has often said that each console – including the PlayStation 4 – is a "marathon and not a sprint."
However, how long will this particular marathon be? The PS3/360 generation was long, one of the longest in the industry's history, so maybe the freshly released console won't have quite the same lifespan.
Sony UK boss Fergal Gara believes that in fact, the next-gen cycle might be a little shorter :
"I think there's reasons to believe that the next cycle might be shorter in markets such as the UK. It's probably a sign of the times and how much has changed in seven years, but I think the willingness and the appetite to pick up new technology fast has probably changed quite a bit."
At the same time, such a prediction shouldn't be written in stone, as Gara added that it's too early to tell what the future will hold. He says Sony will have a "much better feel for it" once once they're a few months down the road. Don't forget that new contenders such as Valve (the Steambox is coming) might also have an impact on the length of the next-gen lifespan. But the initial response to the PS4 has been solid:
"What we do know is that the uptake [of the PS4] is going to be very sharp. Does that mean this is going to be a much bigger cycle? Maybe. Or it might mean that it's just a bit more compressed into the first few years, that the latter years are a little softer."