Video game industry analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities predicts that Sony’s PS4 price will undercut the Xbox One price by $50, with both consoles priced at below $400.
Pachter made his predictions in a research note published ahead of E3 next week where both Microsoft and Sony will show off more of their new consoles. The two companies may announce pricing and release dates for the new consoles at the event along with more of the games planned for release.
The analyst predicts that Microsoft will price the Xbox One at $399, the same price it charged for the 20GB Xbox 360 Elite when the console debuted. There is a chance Microsoft will subsidize the cost with subscriptions to Xbox Live as previously predicted, but users likely won’t have to sign up for a subsidy.
Sony, according to Pachter’s predictions, may undercut Microsoft and offer the PlayStation 4 for $349. If that happens, the PlayStation 4 will cost much less than the PlayStation 3 did at launch. At launch the PlayStation 3 cost $499 or $599 depending on the hard drive capacity the gamer wanted.
Pachter’s predictions come in the same not where he predicted price cuts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at E3. The analyst believes the companies will cut prices on current consoles by at least $50, making them more affordable for gamers who haven’t bought them yet.
The prices Pachter predicts seem wishful, though plausible. Video game companies typically lose money on console sales, only to make the money back in software and services. Microsoft and Sony could charge more for the consoles, sub-$400 consoles would likely sell better than $500 consoles, as Sony learned with the PlayStation 3.