Microsoft Europe's VP of Interactive Chris Lewis has told GamesIndustry International that the 8th generation of home consoles, the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U, will be 30 percent larger than the previous generation, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.
The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii have managed to sell 254 million units as of the week ending May 11, according to VGChartz. A 30 percent increase would mean the 8th generation of home consoles will sell at least 330 million units.
"This generation 7 that we're in right now, it's 50 per cent bigger than generation 6 and I think double the size of generation 5," said Lewis. "Our anticipation is that generation 8 will be at least 30 per cent bigger still."
The 7th generation has been the longest on record. The Xbox 360 launched in 2005 and the Xbox One is set to be released in late 2013, eight years later. It will also be a seven year gap between the release of the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It was Nintendo who went with a more traditional gap between its consoles. The Wii U launched six years after the Wii.
"There is a strong trajectory there," Lewis said. "I think people liked the length of the generation. Our partners certainly did. Retail loved the length of the generation, at least in terms of the attach and the additional services and content they can attach. Our developers like the longevity of the platform because they get better at bringing and optimising content for that platform."
Microsoft killed off the original Xbox when the Xbox 360 launched, but Lewis said that will not be the case with the Xbox 360 when the Xbox One launches. The Xbox 360 will continue to be supported in the years to come.
"Xbox 360 will continue for another multiple-year time frame," said Lewis. "We've already got meaningful marketing plans for the next 12 months for Xbox 360 and beyond. Our third-party publishers will bring more content to it, because the installed base is so high."