As the current console generation winds down and the first waves of the next one begin to grow with the launch of the Wii U, hardware and electronics analysts are turning up the speculation on the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles, specifically how much they will cost.
With the last generation of consoles hitting the $600 price ceiling with the exception of the Wii and Xbox 360, analysts from Baird Equity Research are coming to the conclusion that both consoles will be priced at a much lower MSRP from the outset, due to the adoption of standard PC hardware and less reliance on custom components, with the goal of driving more console sales by expanding the retail sales and hybrid digital distribution models currently in place. All of the analysts agreed that both consoles would be priced at or around $400 owing to the above changes
The expense of the last generation of consoles was commonly cited as the biggest barrier to sales in the last generation due to the extensive amount of custom hardware used in each console, making them more expensive to produce and subsequently develop games on, with multiple hardware revisions for each console leading to successive price drops.
Along with the conclusions on new console pricing, the analysis also points to this year's E3 being the first trade show where both Microsoft and Sony will be showing off their new consoles ahead of their expected launches during the holiday season, with the ongoing struggles of the overall market's slowing video game sales each quarter being cited as one of the main reasons both companies are working to get their respective consoles ready to show off in some form in order to revive currently slumping video game sales, at the expense of the current generation.
Finally, the analysis also suggests that Nintendo will continue to struggle with the Wii U this year, owing to its lower than expected holiday sales and difficulty in drawing customers outside of its core fanbase, many of which are also holding off on the Wii U until the latest entries from familiar franchises such as Zelda and Mario are released, making meaningful sales targets difficult to reach until then.
With all of that said, what do you guys think about the possibility of cheaper consoles this coming generation?