Michael Pachter: Next-Gen consoles could be the cheapest yet
Michael Pacther recently stated that he believes the next consoles from Sony/Microsoft could actually end up being the cheapest launch consoles ever.
He is being a bit over zealous when he says this but he has a point. Here is what the Pach-man said:
“We should learn more in the coming months, but we expect the next Xbox to have an IPTV tuner that will allow an MSO to deliver services over the Internet outside of the MSO’s regulated geographic boundaries. If we are right, any of Microsoft’s MSO partners will have an incentive to subsidize the purchase of the next Xbox in exchange for a long-term service commitment (similar to the cell phone model).
If the subsidies are steep, it is likely that the next Xbox will appear more affordable to many consumers than currently anticipated, and it may capture market share faster than many expect. We don’t expect Sony to sit idly by watching, and believe that the PS4 will follow Microsoft’s lead in short order, suggesting to us that next-generation consoles could have lower starting prices than any in history.”
I do believe Microsoft will have a subsidized next-Xbox model out at launch. Sony is who I’m not so sure about. Even if both of them do it, I can’t see them selling either subsidized model for less than $299, barring random retailer sales.
It certainly looks like the PS4 and next Xbox could cost over $400 if bought without a theoretical contract. If I was Nintendo I would be getting big companies like AT&T, Time Warner, and Verizon on the phone trying to get a subsidized Wii U out there for $99 with a heavy focus on Nintendo TVii.
For reference the Dreamcast, N64, and GameCube all launched for $199 and I doubt even the subsidized Xbox 720/PS4 models go that low for years. Then again, I’d love to be wrong!