In honor of E3 this week, I’ve made a scatter plot of console release data for Playstation (Sony), Xbox (Microsoft), and Nintendo. The x-axis indicates the month that consoles were released in North America. I’m assuming, based on preliminary reports, that Xbox One and PS4 will come out this November. The y-axis shows the number of years since the release of each company’s previous console.
The data show, not surprisingly, that console makers aim for November release dates, just in time for the holiday shopping rush. The last console to be released in a month other than November was the PS2, which came out on October 26th, 2000.
Nintendo has been the most consistent – since the original NES came out, all five subsequent consoles have been released between five and six years after the previous console. Microsoft has been the least consistent – after putting the Xbox on the market, it waited only four years to produce its next generation model (360), but it will have been eight years since the 360 by the time Xbox One reaches the market. Sony has been slowly increasing times between release dates, with approximately five years between PS1 and PS2, then six years until PS3, and finally seven years until PS4.