Those not eager to drop $499 for the Xbox One when it hits shelves November 22 can take solace in Microsoft's dedication to the Xbox 360 platform.
Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi told attendees at the Citi Global Technology Conference on Tuesday that his company plans to release more than 100 games for the current-generation console and that it will receive support for another three years.
"We're going to continue to invest in Xbox 360, and the two devices can work in concert," Mehdi said, according to Eurogamer. "So it's not like the day we ship Xbox One your 360 won't work. We'll continue to support it."
If the Xbox 360, which first hit shelves in the fall of 2005, sticks around for another three years, that would put its life cycle at 11 years. That's a gaming feat topped only by the impressive PlayStation 2, which moved 155 million units during its astounding 13-year cycle.
By contrast, the original Xbox sold only 24 million units and was almost immediately neglected -- though it kept its Xbox Live support until 2010 -- after the launch of the Xbox 360, which has pushed more than 78 million units as of June 2013 and will likely break the 100 million mark over the course of the next few years.
The stretching out of life cycles, on top of the extension of console generation times in general, showcases the game industry's grappling with the hardware limitations of the era. After all, an enormous amount of big-budget, AAA titles will not only be cross-platform come this time next year, but cross-generation as well. That means Assassin's Creed 4; Call of Duty: Ghosts; Battlefield 4; and Metal Gear Solid V, to name a few, will all be perfectly playable on your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
(Sony confirmed last year that it would stick to an original 2006 plan to continue support for the PS3 until 2015. Though if the PS2's success is any indication, we can expect its predecessor to possibly hang out just as long, if not longer, than the Xbox 360 pending changes to Sony's 10-year outline.)
So if the neither the Xbox One nor the PlayStation 4 seem like must-haves, the current generation -- with its fast-plummeting price tags -- will get you more bang for the buck than ever before.