FEATURE5 November 2013

Time for an upgrade

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New videogame consoles are just weeks away from launch. Are consumers ready to pay to play?


How long is a generation? In demographic terms, 20-30 years seems to be the average, but in the videogame market, a generation usually lasts five years. This current generation, though – dominated by Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 – has run long: going on seven years, in fact. And gamers are itching to get their hands on some new kit.

The wait is nearly over. In August, at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Sony announced that PlayStation 4 would be available to buy in Europe on 29 November. It’ll launch two weeks earlier in the US. Microsoft, meanwhile, is due to launch its new Xbox, the Xbox One, on 22 November.

Sony claims it’s had a record number of pre-orders for the PS4 – upwards of one million, according to Sony Computer Entertainment UK boss Fergal Gara. But as good as the pre-sales figures might be, they pale in comparison to the total lifetime sales of PS3 and ...