Pachter: Microsoft has ‘real problem’ if Sony cuts PS4 price, should drop Kinect
Love him or hate him, Wedbush Analyst Michael Pachter knows how to make a dramatic statement. This week, speaking Gaming Bolt he talked about how he feels Microsoft will handle the Xbox One going forward, especially in light of Sony’s PS4 console selling much better.
When asked about whether Microsoft has “weak” first party exclusives on Xbox systems, Pachter defended Microsoft’s game selection from a business perspective, saying that while games like Halo and Forza aren’t as innovative or new as some of Sony’s first party games, that they have a bigger commercial impact:
Well, I mean, it’s funny when you say they have the weakest first party, because Uncharted, and inFamous, and The
Last of Us, I would bet you if you took a single version of those three games, they don’t add up to Halo. And I would say if you take the next three games made by Sony’s first party studios, they won’t add up to Gears of War. So, I agree with you in the sense that the number of titles Sony has is more, but I think in terms of sales, it’s much closer, and might actually tilt in Microsoft’s favor. So, I don’t think you should make too much of an argument about how weak Microsoft’s first party content is, because most of Sony’s first party games that are successful are not gigantic sellers
Personally I’d disagree on that point, at least potentially. We all saw how many N64s games like Mario, Donkey Kong, Star Fox and Zelda moved. Fast forward to the GameCube and the system continued to sell so bad that those franchises saw some of their lowest sales ever for flagship installments during that generation.
Later, Pacther talks about how he thinks Microsoft should drop Kinect from the Xbox One and how a price cut on the PS4 could hurt them.
I think that ultimately, for the Xbox One to be successful, the Kinect has to be decoupled from it, and I think that might be hard, because there’s a lot of stuff going on with the hardware where it’s all integrated, and it might not work. But I think that you will probably get in 2015 a redesigned Xbox One that has no Kinect, and I think what will accelerate that process is if Sony cuts the PS4’s price: if there is a $349 PS4 on the market, Microsoft has a real problem. They’re gonna have to do something, and they’ll have to do it really quickly. I think that in 2015, you might see a $349 PS4, and an uncoupled Xbox One, and if you see both of those for $349, the consumer wins, and they will both sell very well. Microsoft is not looking to lose this cycle.
Can’t disagree with Pachter there. I’d get a redesigned Xbox One that cuts costs and drops Kinect a priority. If Sony drops the PS4’s price anytime in the next 12-18 months Microsoft will be in a bad position due to Kinect increasing the price of an Xbox One console.
Other than the PS3, Sony has typically been pretty aggressive when it comes to dropping their consoles prices. If you remember, roughly 1 and 1/2 years after the PS2 launched Sony cut the system’s price $100 in May 2002. That was only six months into the lives of the Xbox and GameCube, a bold strategy by Sony.