It's time to throw out the old playbook, says THQ president and CEO Brian Ferrell, because the the industry's traditional hardware cycles no longer exist.
"We used to always think of this industry as 'the cycle.'" said Ferrell. "I think the reality now is there are several sub-cycles."

THQ's leader sees at least three separate sub-cycles: 1) the handheld market, 2) what Nintendo's done with Wii and 3) the continued competition between Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. There's even an emerging sub-cycle in the online world, he said.

"It's hard now to talk about 'the cycle' -- I think we have to talk about all of the cycles," he said. "The way we think about it at THQ is we plan our business around each of those platforms, not around 'the cycle.'"