"Don't dismiss Sony's 10-year cycle"

Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens says it would be unwise to dismiss the last-gen king...

Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens says it would be unwise to dismiss the last-gen king in the latest console cycle, which he fully expects to last for a decade.

"I really do think it's going to be a ten year cycle and I do think that's something that's been overlooked when people are fairly dismissive of certain hardware platforms," Cousens told Next-Gen.

Cousens said that Sony cannot be dismissed as a competitor in the HD era, especially seeing as its Blu-ray technology appears destined to be victorious against the Microsoft backed HD-DVD format.

He also pointed to the fact that while PS2 sales are now starting to decline, as evidenced in Sony's latest financial report, the system has been performing successfully for eight years, and he expects the current cycle to extend beyond the traditional five year timeframe, with real killer aps starting to appear "in the next two to three years".

"I certainly think it's premature to dismiss Sony because I believe that they're only now showing signs of ramping up and that shouldn't come as any surprise to people given the trail of to be released dates of Wii and 360 and given the price points that they were coming in at, and given the lack of software supporting the format. I believe all those ingredients are starting to merge and I would expect Sony to have real momentum over the coming years.

Cousens went on to say that Sony is likely be more successful in Japan in the next few years, as well as and in the emerging Eastern European markets given the infrastructure and distribution strengths that it has.

"I also believe you have to look at it on a global basis and not be territorial. If you look at it on a global basis then you would expect Sony to certainly pick up in the Japanese market.

"You only have to look at their performance in Russia over the last twelve months where there's very little distribution for competing consoles, and in some of the Eastern Bloc countries to know that they will almost certainly prevail in those market places."

Cousens added that Sony would face stiffer competition from Microsoft in North America, "where Xbox 360 is certainly more entrenched".

While Cousens expects Sony and Microsoft to respond to the global success of Nintendo's Wii by introducing motion sensing controls [more advanced ones in Sony's case], saying that such controllers "will be refined and every hardware vendor will include them", he notes that the Wii may be the one home console to see a successor in the ten year cycle he forecasts due to its relatively weak technological standing in comparison to PS3 and Xbox 360.

"You also have to look at the technology and understand that the Wii is essentially Gamecube 1.5, and so given that it's Gamecube 1.5 it is not unreasonable to assume that in the time frames that I've alluded to earlier that you would have a Wii 2 within a relatively short period of time."

In contrast, the PS3 is built to go the distance in its present form, and the Xbox 360, "because its core is in a PC, can also be upgraded significantly over the coming years".

Cousens' comments were part of a longer Codemasters interview published earlier last week.