EA Boss Says 5 Year Console Lifespans are Done

Manufacturers building for the long haul…

Joey Davidsonby Joey Davidson

Battlefield 3

EA CEO John Riccitiello spoke with investors during one of EA's conference calls in regards to the current births and lifespans of consoles, hardware and new technology. It was there that he sought to point at that, as far as he's concerned, 4 to 5 year lifespans for consoles are done.

Here's Riccitiello's quote, courtesy of GamePro:

"Most of us recognize that the industry has radically changed, and the pace of change has accelerated dramatically…Gone forever is the 4 to 5 year console cadence that gave developers ample time to invest and retool for the next big wave. Consider that just 18 months ago, there was no iPad, Google was just experimenting with Android and most big games were limited to a single revenue opportunity at launch."

As an unheard retort for Riccitiello, what about the Wii and the Wii U from Nintendo? The Big N seems fine with playing the roll of refresh and hitting up the Wii U as a stopgap between this generation and the next. And, guess what, they're right in line with the 4-5 year cadence that EA's CEO speaks of. What will either work to prove or disprove his point, however, is the success of the console once it releases.

If the Wii U bombs, then clearly there's something wrong with either the design, the launch, the reception or the whole shebang. If it succeeds, however, Nintendo may keep pace with the 4-5 year cadence for new hardware that Riccitiello claims is dead.

The Sony and Microsoft consoles, however, fall right in line with that time scale. Both manufacturers are building their machines to last 10 years, not 5.

Riccitiello brought EA into focus with this point by saying that they've got time to focus on their IPs. The company aims to use their catalogue of titles to ride the swelling tech wave.