The next-generation of consoles is filled with uncertainties. We don’t know just how much publisher-mandated DRM will be in place on Sony’s PlayStation 4 – and we know close to nothing about what games we’ll see on Microsoft’s Xbox One. there are pros and cons to both machines – with the biggest deciding factor for many being the price. According to Michael Pachter, the odds could weigh in Sony’s favour.
Everybody’s favourite video game industry analyst says that the Xbox One is going to cost $399 at launch, while Sony’s PlayStation 4 will cost $349. Pachter says Microsoft may still go the subsidy route, giving you a cheaper Xbox One provided you lock yourself in to a two-year Xbox Live contract.
“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, “ he said. “Similarly, Sony could subsidise the PS4 through prepaid PlayStation Network subscriptions, but unlike Microsoft, it does not have a history of doing so.”
“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.
The reason for the price disparity is that the PlayStation 4 will just end up being cheaper to make – without all that high-tech wizardry that powers the very necessary Kinect 2.0. According to Pachter, the cost of raw materials for the PlayStation 4 totals around $275, while Microsoft’s Xbox One costs $325 per unit. This generation, it was very different: Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was initially significantly cheaper than the PlayStation 3 – which is one of the reasons the console found its way in to so many homes.
It’s probably worth noting that these prices are all without US Tax – so with that, and the current exchange rate, expect to pay about closer to R4999 for the Xbox, and R4799 for the PS4. Unless our president opens his mouth again, that is.
Last Updated: June 4, 2013