With Microsoft having held a special event last month to announce the Xbox One, the comparisons between it and Sony’s PlayStation 4 have already begun. Irrespective of the features of each console, one area in which the battle could be won or lost is in pricing, and according to one analyst, the PS4 will start at $50 cheaper than it’s Redmond-made rival. The utterances of Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter are merely predictions based upon the cost of materials used to make the consoles, but with the forthcoming PlayStation’s components weighing in at $275 compared with the Xbox One’s $325, Pachter reckons the former could start from $349, with the Xbox One costing $399.
Of course, to the real fanboys, fifty bucks won’t make the blindest jot of difference. But to the many millions of floating voters, i.e. those who are reserving judgment and likely to make an impulse purchase, that extra cash saved could make all the difference.
One aspect of the PlayStation 3’s downfall was it’s extortionate launch price, and with the Xbox 360 offering much of the same but for a significantly lower cost, it’s seen as one of the main reasons why Microsoft has dominated the console battle of this generation. Sony knows it can ill afford to make the same mistake again, particularly with the Xbox carrying the momentum from the 360 as well as the immensely popular Kinect sensor, but if the words of Pachter ring true, the PS4 will definitely appeal to the frugal consumer.
With that said, the price of manufacture doesn’t necessarily tell us anything, and considering how much Microsoft will make from Xbox One owners through games, TV services and Xbox LIVE subscriptions, taking a hit on the cost would be a favorable to keep the price competitive with the PS4.
Pachter also believes Microsoft may subsidize the price of the Xbox One through a contract, as it currently does with the Xbox 360. At present, the software maker sells its flagship console for $99, which in turn locks the consumer into a two year Xbox LIVE agreement.
Pachter also speculates that the price of the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 will drop by around $50 each in advance of the next-gen arrivals, and with some big games still being made for the soon-to-be succeeded consoles, not everybody will be jumping straight on the PS4 and Xbox One.