There are still several big questions surrounding the next-generation video game consoles from Microsoft and Sony, and pricing is somewhere near the top of the list. According to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, however, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be priced in line with expectations. The analyst on Monday issued a note ahead of E3 that looks to pinpoint pricing for these next-gen consoles. Patcher believes the Xbox One has a bill of materials (BOM) totaling $325 and the console will launch at $399. Sony’s PlayStation 4 has a BOM of about $275 according to the analyst, and it will cost $349 when it launches ahead of the holidays this year.
While the Xbox One is expected to be $50 more expensive than Sony’s PlayStation 4, the analyst expects a subsidized option from Microsoft that would drop the up-front cost of the console when users sign up for a monthly subscription plan.
“We believe the ability to watch live TV from a cable, telco, or satellite set-top box through Xbox One could entice an MSO to drive subscriptions through a subsidised box in exchange for a multi-year contract,” Pachter wrote in the note, which was picked up by Gamesindustry International. “The ‘always connected’ requirement for the Xbox One likely means that a broadband connection will be required, suggesting to us that ISPs may have an incentive to offer a subsidy as well.”
He continued, “In addition, Microsoft could conceivably subsidise the Xbox One through prepaid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions (as it has done on a limited basis in the past) or premium Skype functionality as well. Similarly, Sony could subsidise the PS4 through prepaid PlayStation Network subscriptions, but unlike Microsoft, it does not have a history of doing so.”
Microsoft and Sony will both announce additional details for their respective consoles during the E3 conference next week, and both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will launch ahead of the holidays this year.