Aging hardware and the growth of casual gaming on smartphones and tablets has definitely had an impact on sales of gaming consoles, but hardcore gamers are not to be underestimated. The best example would be the Black Friday weekend. Microsoft reported that it managed to sell 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles during the weekend alone, which is impressive, considering Microsoft’s gaming hardware is already 7 years old. Microsoft Xbox 360 has been the king of gaming consoles for the last 22 months straight now, but this does not mean there is nothing to worry. Compared to last year’s Black Friday weekend, this year’s sales was actually lower. 800,000 units were sold last year within 24 hours.
Considering the changing atmosphere and the time for which the console has been in the market it only makes sense that a new hardware be released soon. While rumors about this have been doing the rounds, Bloomberg today reported, citing inside sources that Microsoft is planning to launch the next generation Xbox gaming console next year to coincide with Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is, however, not finalized, the sources have said as Microsoft is still deciding whether to launch the new hardware in an dedicated event or during a gaming event such as E3, in June.
Besides Microsoft, Sony is also expected to bring out PlayStation 4 some time next year, while the third gaming console major, Nintendo started selling their next gen gaming console, Wii U on November 18. Wii U, a unique gaming console that comes with a 6 inch touch screen gamepad has also sold well, but not as well as Xbox.
According to another rumor Microsoft is said to be working on bringing out the Xbox set top box next year, along with the new gaming console. This new device would cater to those who only prefer to you use Xbox Live features for home entertainment such as watching movies and streaming music or for playing casual games.