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EA predicts longer console cycle, more price cuts

Majed Athab

According to EA CFO Eric Brown, this console generation still has many years ahead of it and will be longer than console cycles of the past. Elements found in this generation, such as digital distribution channels (Xbox Live, PSN and WiiWare), still have high potential for growth, Brown said at a Wedbush Morgan Securities conference (via Gamasutra). We've also ostensibly hit a tech ceiling with this gen, as games consoles are capable of full HD resolution at 60fps, which means there's little need to upgrade to new hardware ( ... unless you've got a Wii).

Price is another major factor Brown discussed, having said that the relatively high price for consoles is still keeping a large chunk of consumers away. Price cuts would drive more sales, as in Brown's example of PSOne and PS2 success at reduced $99 and $149 price points -- both systems sold nearly 50% of their lifetime sales at these prices.

"... We've seen one major price drop thus far in this console cycle; we feel that we have a long ways to go," said Brown making reference to the 360 cuts which brought the Arcade down to $199. And by "long ways to go," he really means 'expect many more price drops to come.' Hopefully, we'll see some of those real soon.

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