When Will PS5 & Xbox Series X|S Be Considered “Current Gen” Consoles?

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A whole host of information about Resident Evil Village dropped during a recent livestream–a May release date, the reveal of a PS5 demo, and more details about the very tall, very hot vampire lady. But beyond that, one thing about the livestream that really stuck out to me was the description of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game as “next gen” and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions as “current gen.”

It got me thinking about when we should stop referring to the PS5 and the Xbox Series X|S as “next gen.” Both consoles have been out for over two months now. They aren’t something that’s on the way anymore, they’re actually here in quite a few peoples’ homes. But folks–even me, sometimes–seemingly still think that the console generation hasn’t actually switched yet.

To be honest, I’m not sure when I’m going to start naturally referring to Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 as the “current gen,” despite the fact that I have both a Series X and PS5 and have been using them since November. At the very least, I’ve come to start referring to them as “new gen” instead of “next gen” whenever I’ve had to write about them, but my brain hasn’t made the subconscious switch to refer to Xbox One and PS4 as the old hardware. I still need to stop and remind myself of that.

So will the new consoles be considered “current gen” once they’re readily available to buy and you can just waltz into a store and pick either one up instead of needing to excuse yourself in the middle of the work day to hover over your phone in the bathroom and hit refresh on a link in hopes a console lands in your cart before a bot scoops it up? Or are the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S only “current gen” once the PS4 and Xbox One become obsolete hardware and new games are no longer being regularly made for those two systems? Is this new generation only “current gen” once Microsoft and Sony stop producing Xbox One and PS4 units, removing the option of being able to even buy them? Or is society using some other baseline to measure the transition? Because whatever the deciding factor is, y’all didn’t tell me and I would like to know.

Admittedly, it doesn’t really matter, but I still think it’s weird. I don’t recall it taking this long after their respective releases for folks to start referring to PS4 and Xbox One as “current” and the PS3 and Xbox 360 as “last gen.” So why hasn’t the same happened for Xbox Series X|S and PS5 yet?

Anyway, how are you referring to the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S? Do you think they’re current gen, next gen, or new gen, or do you think that we need a new label for this specific console generation? And what marks the transition in console generations for you?

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