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Next-gen consoles could be cheaper, sooner

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Jumping in to the next generation of consoles is expensive. Locally, the PlayStation 4 will be released at a recommended retail price of R6299. We have no idea what the Xbox One is going to cost here when it does get released, but we do know it’s probably going to cost even more. Activision though, believes prices will come down sooner rather than later.

Speaking in an investor call, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said he expects prices of the next consoles to drop a little quicker than they did in the last generation – and installed user bases to grow quicker as a result.  The Xbox 360 saw its first price cut two years after release, while the PlayStation 3 saw its first one 8 months after availability…but only because consumers had a hard time coughing up $599 for the thing.

There are a number of reasons for that – but the biggest one comes down to manufacturing.

There are "lots of efficiencies in manufacturing that could drive hardware prices down sooner in the cycle," Kotick said, adding that "There’s no indication from our perspective that you’re going to see anything other than a very successful 7-8 years."

With both consoles using hardware that’s somewhat analogous to PC architecture without much in the way of real, custom-manufactured silicon, it makes sense that the cost prices to make the new consoles will decrease steadily – leading to cheaper hardware sooner than we saw in this current generation.

Last Updated: November 7, 2013

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