With E3 only a week away, it seems we already have price estimates for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
According to GamesIndustry International , Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes the PS4 will debut at $350 and the Xbox One will launch at $400. This is based on bill of materials figures of $275 for Sony's machine and $325 for Microsoft's.
However, Pachter added that Microsoft may offer a subsidized model, which will be cheaper if consumers agree to a 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. 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."
As for the Nintendo Wii U, Pachter says the company must use E3 to prove to consumers that there's still compelling software on the horizon. But if they don't, they risk losing additional share to its console competitors. Further, he had another dire prediction:
"In addition, if the Wii U's popularity does not improve by the end of the year, many third-party publishers may pass on producing games for the console. We note that EA recently announced that it had no Wii U games in development, and it remains a possibility that the publisher will abandon the platform entirely. Should other third parties follow EA's lead, the Wii U could be relegated to a first-party-only platform."
Which is precisely what I've been saying for months. But that's beside the point; the point is that the PS4 might actually be cheaper the Xbox One, and the only way for Microsoft's console to cost the same is if the consumer buys some sort of subscription package.