With all of the rumors, details, leaks and information out there today, it is becoming harder to sift through the opinion and bias in a lot of writing about the upcoming next-generation consoles, and find a simple truth.
Granted, this is what writers are left with to discuss when developers saying nothing and provide little information in return.
Having said all of that, it’s time to take a different approach to interpreting all we know about the next-gens and perhaps when we all will be seeing them in stores.
The lens this article will be viewed through is from the reflection, similarities and differences between the performances of publishers and developers back in 2005 and their performances of today.
First, let’s lay out the three companies that will be looked at. EA, Sony and Microsoft have been gaming monsters over the past decade and they should be solid financial indicators.
Back after the first quarter of the 2005-2006 fiscal year ended, EA released their performance for the past three months, much like they did a few days ago for the first quarter of the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
In 2005, the trailing twelve-month operating cash flow increased from $638 million the year before to $669 million. This past quarter reported on a few days ago showed the trailing twelve-month operating cash flow increase from $277 million the year prior, to $307 million this year. Both years reflected nearly the same $30 million increase from the year before.
In 2005, Battlefield 2 and FIFA were leading the way for EA in units sold, meanwhile this past quarter reflected Battlefield 3 and FIFA doing much of the same.
Back in 2005, EA repurchased 6.3 million shares of common stock, and with this past quarter passing, they also reported the repurchasing of $500 million worth of common stock.
From a Sony point of view, the first quarter of the 2005-2006 fiscal year saw their income before income taxes standing at $117 million. Today, that total checked in at $119 million.
The company had a $1.5 billion sales and operating revenue in 2005 with this past quarter showing a total of about $1.5 billion as well. Both years had operating losses of close to $50 million.
As far as Microsoft is concerned, during the first quarter of the 2005-2006 fiscal year, their revenue experienced a 9% increase from the same time in the year before, while this past quarter experienced a 7% increase.
The yearly overall increase in revenue was 8% in 2005 and this past July it was reported as 6% higher than the year before.
So have gone through all of that, can we draw conclusions that the next Playstation 4 and Xbox 720 will be releasing next year? No we cannot 100% conclude that; however, there are stark similarities between all of those figures, and they are not closely related for no reason.
The current generation of consoles is clearly at its end, much like they were back in 2005, and what happened then? Next-generation consoles were introduced to provide a shot in the arm for an industry that was very limited in technology.
Yes back in 2005, the technology leaps made from the Xbox and Playstation 2 to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 were astounding and revolutionary.
Some people believe it is possible we won’t see the same shift in performance from the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 to the Playstation 4 and Xbox 720, and it’s somewhat logical to say that, but it has been seven years between consoles.
Do people really think there will not be any major differences in the consoles? There certainly will be and it will most likely surprise people how much better the next-generation will be compared to this one.
Like in 2005, this current generation of consoles has gotten tired out, and need a new set of consoles to provide a burst to an industry that’s currently ripe with staleness.
Microsoft and Sony do not want their financial standing to fall any further in the gaming industry because the sales of their consoles have been on a steady decline for over a year now.
The last thing these developers want is to end up further into a financial ditch while Nintendo sits on top of the console mountain with the Wii U.
The numbers above told us back in 2005 that new consoles were needed and the numbers today are saying the exact same thing.