It has been reported that the current generation of gaming consoles on the market today will probably be remaining longer than expected.

Due to the changing economic environment, the gaming industry is wary of introducing new hardware any time soon and is expected to weather the storm with their current offerings.

Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices division president, Robbie Bach, claims that creating more powerful technology won’t be enough to lure consumers anymore and “coming up with something that’s faster and prettier isn’t going to be sufficient”.

Instead manufacturers will have to take a page from Nintendo’s book and start looking at innovative new features to attract consumers.

Nintendo’s main draw card is the new Wii Motion Plus accessory, which is an addition to the current Wii remote and will offer greater movement and react much more effectively in a 3-D space. It even boasts a 1:1 response rate to capture a player’s movements exactly.

Sony and Microsoft are instead focusing their efforts heavily towards online and downloadable content. This is probably the best way the gaming industry will survive this economic crisis.

The reason for this is that players are able to add substantial longevity to their games, thus making it less necessary to purchase additional full-priced software.

Instead of finishing a game and leaving it on the shelf, game companies are encouraging you to purchase additional levels, characters and play against your friends over the internet.

A perfect example is with Sony’s hit release last year, Little Big Planet, every few weeks new character costumes and levels are made available, making the game endlessly appealing.

It is going to be interesting to see just how well the gaming industry survives the current economic crisis, but it is good to see that the industry is definitely being prepared for what ever the economy throws at it.