Analyst Colin Sebastian of Baird Equity Research believes that both Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles will retail for around $400.
Sebastian is basing his numbers on several off-the-record meetings with “a number of companies” at CES 2013. “Given the fragile state of the console game market, we expect the E3 trade show in June will take on added significance, most likely providing the industry with the first public opportunity to examine next-generation hardware,” he wrote in his notes.
“Our checks suggest that next-generation console hardware will be largely built from ‘off the shelf’ high-end PC components, along with hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing (Kinect integration with every Xbox), and broad multi-media capabilities.”
“Moreover, a PC-based architecture (Intel chips in the case of Xbox) should have a number of advantages over custom-developed silicon: for one, the learning curve for software developers will be shorter than completely new technology.”
“Second, the cost of production and retail price points should be lower than prior console launches,” he added. “Third, it will be easier to build online services around PC chip architecture, including flexible business models (free-to-play, subscriptions) and multi-media (over the top) content offerings. For Microsoft, this design will also allow for more integration with Windows 8 and Windows Mobile devices.”
Back in 2005 Microsoft’s Premium Xbox 360 bundle retailed at $400 and one year later Sony went with a price of $599 for its Premium bundle–which severely hurt early sales. This $400 next-gen figure suggests that Sony has learned a lesson from this generation and will look to match Microsoft right out the gate.
Would you be willing to pay $400 for next generation consoles? Share your thoughts below.