Analyst: Next-Gen Game Consoles "Highly Premature"

Pro tip: If you come across a "news" story claiming we're on the verge of slipping into next-console-country (as I do almost daily reading aggregators like N4G, i.e. "Noise For Gamers") by all means hold suspect the source node's credibility. It's nearly a naked fact that we're years away, minimally, from whatever comes next. Claims based on job boards listings are just hit bait. Don't take the hook.

A couple weeks ago Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter wrote that he didn't expect the next generation of console hardware until 2013, adding ominously "if ever." Today Signal Hill analyst Todd Greenwald echoed Pachter's assertion, stating "we're not even close to nearing an end."

"We think it's highly premature to be thinking of the cycle ending until all of these consoles are well below the USD 199 mark," said Greenwald, suggesting that Microsoft and Sony are so invested in their present boxes and third-party relationships that he doesn't believe "any party seriously interested in throwing away these investments and starting over from scratch."

In fact, says Greenwald, "we think this cycle will last longer than those in the past, and don't see new hardware coming until 2011 at the earliest, and 2012 to 2013 more likely," appending — like Pachter — a foreboding "if at all," meaning they both believe central-side services like OnLive could very well supplant set-top boxes altogether.

I think you'd be hard-pressed these days to find a consumer-side gamer who wouldn't agree with and see the economic sense in that.

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