The price of the Xbox 720 could start at $350, according to a recent research report delivered by games industry analysts. Colin Sebastian of R.W. Baird issued new research notes to investors that predict a $350 introduction price for the new system, which was derived through meetings with various developers and distributors at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show. The analyst believes that both the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 will use “off-the-shelf” high-end PC components to make up these new consoles.
He also believes that this familiar PC architecture will allow developers to shorten the learning curve of developing for the new consoles, more easily build and integrate online services, and offer free-to-play offerings and subscription models right away. Sebastian also echoed recent sentiments that both Sony and Microsoft would be holding dedicated events to reveal the new consoles, prior to E3 2013. The console makers would then promote them heavily at the tradeshow, with a subsequent launch in the fall of 2013.
If these price predictions hold true, the Xbox 720 would come in at a cheaper price than its predecessor. The Xbox 360 launched back in 2005 at $400 while the PlayStation 3 launched at $500, and it could be that the marketing department sees this $350 price point as the “magic number” to get people to make the jump to the new technology. It will be interesting to see whether Sony launches at the same price as the Xbox 720, considering that recent hardware releases by the company have had little regard for what consumers are willing to stomach. The PlayStation 3 came in hot at $500, making Microsoft’s machine a cheaper alternative on store shelves. They didn’t quite learn their lesson their, last year, Sony launched the PS Vita at a price which many analysts believed to be too high, and have seen slow adoption to the handheld.