Here's a shocker: the Xbox 360 will be four years old this November. Four years. If you remember, the original Xbox had a lifespan of four years. However, there hasn't been the slightest indication that Microsoft will release a console this year, or even next year for that matter. Why is this? It's most likely due to the recent economic slowdown.
Just think about it for a second: as the economy slows to a crawl, so do sales of non-essential items, such as video games. Microsoft will already be hard pressed to sell their current generation consoles with the current economic climate, and they are already heavily discounted since launch. Releasing a brand new system and trying to sell it at full price during a recession is sheer stupidity.
And it's not just Microsoft that's planning this. According to Microsoft's Robbie Bach, "The life cycle for this generation of consoles - and I'm not just talking about Xbox , I'd include Wii and PS3 as well - is probably going to be a little longer than previous generations." He also cited the economy as his reason, saying: "When you look at consumers, they are going to be more value-conscious".