Next Gen Consoles Slated for $350 Price-tag

An analyst believes that the entry cost for the next generation PlayStation and Xbox is going to be lower than the current, preceding generation.

Robert W. Baird’s industry watcher, Colin Sebastion, has strong beliefs that the upcoming next-gen consoles are going to be a lot cheaper than we may have thought. Sebastion issued a note to investors today with his prediction for the upcoming console prices, ranging them at $350 to $400.

Considering that the Xbox 360 debuted back in 2005 with a $400 pricetag and the PS3 had a $500 tag on it, why are these next-gen prices so low?

Sebastion based his prediction on conversations he had with developers and distributors last week at CES. Sebastion’s takeaway from these conversations led to “interesting takeaways with respect to next-generation game development and more broadly, the intensifying battle for the living room.”

The new consoles are looking at being closer to high-end gaming PCs by his estimation, using “off-the-shelf” technology that could be used to build a high-end gaming PC than the limited but focused consoles that we’re used to. The more PC-esque architecture of these consoles could lead to all sorts of advantages, particularly for developers who will have less of a learning curve trying to develop for different consoles. Online services will be a lot easier to implement as well with improved networking technology rather than relying on built-in console services.

The price-tags themselves Sebastion put down to the “lackluster” launch of Nintendo’s Wii U console, which may leave some wondering if after this lengthy console generation if we’re ready for the next one as consumers. The Wii U was outsold by it’s predecessor in the Wii’s launch period after all. Sebastion also quoted poor holiday sales as a reason for cheaper initial price-tags.