Next-Gen Console Might Be Cheaper Than You Think
Peter Donnell / 5 years ago
GameStop knows a fair few things about games consoles and the retail market, in fact it’s safe to say the Sony and Microsoft have sat down with them for some long and hard discussions about sales patterns, investors, prices, marketing strategies and much more to work out what will do best when the new consoles launch later this year.
GameStop believe that a lot of people are fearing a high price at launch and it’s causing too much worry as we approach the launch window, something that Rob Lloyd, the Chief Financial Officer for GameStop was quick to dismiss in the company’s post-earnings call, where he said that both of the new consoles will have a “lower opening price than the last cycle.”
When the Xbox 360 launched here in the UK back in 2005 it has an initial launch price of £279.99 and roughly adjusted for inflation that would be around £330.00 today ($400 US launch vs $475 after inflation) and to think that the new consoles would be anywhere above that would be crazy talk, the market just isn’t ready for that kind of investment on a large-scale, we are still recovering from a global recession you know.
When the Xbox 360 launch you could pick up two models at $300 and $400, the PlayStation 3 clocked in at a hefty $500 and $600. Yet back in the day, both these consoles used radically new hardware ideas, the Xbox had a triple CPU configuration, where as the PlayStation 3 had the Cell Broadband Engine, this time were seeing off the shelf components from AMD that have been modified, but that aren’t radically different from what we expect to see in the PC market over the next two years or so, this should keep manufacturing costs down significantly.
With both consoles launching in the same year you can bet there will be a price war, if Sony or Microsoft don’t start one, the retail market will and one thing is for certain, the consumer will win. It does however seem unlikely that the price for either will be under that of the Xbox 360 launch, but it’s impossible to think that it would be near the upper end of the PlayStation 3 launch, the sweet spot and magic number I expect is in the middle and around £300-350.
How much would you be willing to pay for a next-gen console? Keeping in mind that your budget would involve extra controllers, games and more upon purchase, personally I’d be setting a £500 but that all depends on if I can stick to putting money in a savings account each week.