This generation's consoles have had their lives lengthened by new software and hardware. In fact, Microsoft's VP of Interactive Entertainment John Schappert told us, "We got a lotta life left in Xbox 360. I think we're less than halfway done."
That means the Xbox 360 will live twice as long as the original Xbox, which essentially had four years before the Xbox 360 arrived and Microsoft unceremoniously dumped it. That's 8 years. The original Xbox does still live in other ways, though—Schappert said that "hundreds of thousands" of people still play Xbox Live on it. Similarly, Live will obviously live on in whatever comes after the Xbox 360 he said. He reiterated again, though, that "there's still an awful lot left we can do with that piece of hardware, so we're going to continue to do that...I don't even think we're halfway through the life of the Xbox 360." He continued, "if we were not able to reinvent the interface, introduce avatars, introduce new services, we might be talking about new hardware right now." When "we need new hardware to deliver new experiences, that's when we'll start talking about new hardware."
One thing we obviously missed at E3, given how broadly Microsoft has expanded the Xbox 360's scope was the "game-changing" Zune integration promised in the Zune HD announcement. Schappert said that "game-changing" was "meant to refer less to games and more to our Zune video launch." Zune audio on the other hand, he had nothing to say about: "We're not announcing anything else right now, but obviously we're gonna continue to partner with our Zune friends. What you see today is a lot different that last year, so you're going to continue to see us innovate, bring new things, bring new experiences."
So that deeper Zune integration, it's coming. Eventually. One day. Hopefully. Maybe. [Giz@E3]