Xbox 720, PS4 could start at $350, says analyst

Robert W. Baird industry watcher predicts next-gen console prices, believes "lackluster" Wii U launch and holiday sales a concern.

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According to one analyst, the cost of entry for next-generation consoles will be lower than prior system launches. Robert W. Baird industry watcher Colin Sebastian issued a note to investors today, predicting that the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 could debut at $350-$400.

The Xbox 360 launched in 2005 at $400, with the PlayStation 3 debuting in 2006 beginning at $500.

Sebastian's estimations are based on conversations with a range of game developers and distributors held last week during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Sebastian explained that these conversations yielded "interesting takeaways with respect to next-generation game development and more broadly, the intensifying battle for the living room."

Sebastian also predicted that the Xbox 720 and PS4 will be built using existing "off-the-shelf" high-end PC components. Other features may include a hybrid physical-digital distribution model, "enhanced" voice controls and motion sensing, as well as "broad multimedia capabilities."

What's more, Sebastian estimates that the PC-based architecture of the new consoles will carry a range of advantages, the first of which is a shorter learning curve for developers compared to existing technology. In addition, this will allow developers to more easily build online services and capabilities, including free-to-play and subscriptions.

Regarding the PS4 specifically, Baird said some production snags may limit the console's launch quantities or timing. According to field checks, these production issues could negatively affect the console's launch, though Baird said these snags are "not necessarily fatal, or even unusual."

As for when the Xbox 720 and PS4 may be announced, Sebastian believes Sony and Microsoft will hold dedicated events prior to the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (June 11-13, 2013) to finally unveil these machines. If all goes to Sebastian's prediction, Sony and Microsoft will hype the consoles during E3 2013 itself before shipping the systems to retail during October and November, respectively. This timetable is in line with previous predictions.

Also in Sebastian's note to investors today, the analyst said Nintendo may be facing an uphill battle with its recently launched Wii U. He predicted that Nintendo will shift to a "niche category" and is concerned that the console will lack broad appeal beyond the dedicated fans.

He said following the Wii U's "lackluster" launch and holiday sales (the Wii U did not outsell the 2006 original Wii during the period), Nintendo must release major first-party games, including the rumored Wii U Zelda title. This would be the only way to "retain the support of key third-party developers and reduce marketshare loss."

In the bleakest of scenarios, Sebastian said Nintendo would be forced to lower the Wii U price point earlier than it would like and even give consideration to releasing first-party titles--like Mario and Donkey Kong--on other platforms.

Discussion

479 comments
famousimposter
famousimposter

I think Sony will release last and be the better system. As long as there is a  3rd party to make controllers like the Xbox 360 I see no harm in going that way. I went from ps2 to Xbox 360 and was given a ps3. What kept me on Xbox was the gears of war title and the controller after power a tournament controllers came out for Xbox and ps3 I bought one for the ps3 and couldn't tell the difference  from playing an Xbox. The PlayStation network will be on par w/ Xbox live this next round. They already have cross chat w/ Ps vita. They will have to make Microsoft justify paying for Xbox if they can match TV features. I do see them advancing in games because they are open. Look at dust 514. I think that game is just the begging of what ps3 can do with their open PlayStation network. Sony is end up getting some huge games that Xbox won't touch because they don't have an open network. I see Sony winning in the long run. They caught Microsoft in world wide sales and that was coming out a year later and with no lineup.  Not counting how many people bought more than one Xbox due to the red ring of death. I don't know how many people I know that are even 20  or 21 who I play w/ on Xbox live and tell me can I get them on Xbox live trial or buy them Xbox live so they can play. I see psn being free a bigger sailing point when Xbox live will offer nothing different. I see Sony winning big in the next Gen. Coming from a big Xbox gamer I have my money on Sony and will be buying the ps4 or whatever they call it next Gen.

SolanOcard
SolanOcard

releasing Mario, Donkey Kong or any other Nintendo character on another platform. whether a traditional rival such as Microsoft or Sony, or a newer player like iOS based devices will spell the death knell for Nintendo as a console developer. I don't see that happening this decade. I for one hope that Sony and Microsoft DO NOT release their new consoles this year. I am seriously not done with this generation, and I want to see the WiiU get a chance to run neck and neck with the current gen systems and see more multi-platform games on the WiiU.

Z3KR0M
Z3KR0M

This is what I think will happen: These new consoles are aiming to have big sales offering new tecnology to make games BUT take in mind that game developers are stuck right now. The costs of making games is too high when using current gen consoles and the companies are having trouble making the game profitable. I think that the launch of these consoles is not nessesary, having a PC that can handle almost any kind of game at a lower cost would be a problem to these consoles. This is why I think Nintendo make a smart move, knowing HD was out didn't use it on Wii because that way they could make another console having HD (Wii U) and offer its first party games with amazing graphics. Nintendo can now wait (5-6 years) for a real change in graphics and gameplay to be created and launch a console with it. Plus, having a very unique console, PC gamers can not experience that gameplay.

In conclution I think we have enough with the launch of Wii U while they (Developers) create new tecnology to make games really change (When 4K TVs are commertial and people actually can buy it, I think around 4-6 years) and have amazing graphics and creative gameplay.

I can see in the future Nintendo having the only dedicated videogame console BUT with hardware made with Sony (LIke before) and a windows based  OP system and online service, and of course the creative and inovating ideas of Nintendo and their games. I think that way developers will not have trouble selling games, giving more content and variety in one system, that will make us gamers happy!!!!!

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

I would think $400 would be tops for the next gen systems. Right now you can get a 500g Hd system with a game for $250. As for Nintendo, they'll be fine. Nintendo fans are crazy! The fanbase, with other "base" jumpers combined with 3ds sales will be all they need. Having said all this the future is scary. I don't want my console experience to be solely based off my internet connection. Call me old school

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I'm actually waiting to save up cash for a 4k tv when they start really going into widespread retailers inwhich I predict will be around 2015 or early 2016 which I think the new ps4 will most likely make its presence known...

irishjake
irishjake

PS4 will come later, due to its heavy focus on 4K capabilities and will cost more.

Xbox 720 will come sooner, be cheaper, and will focus mainly on the new Kinect.

I would guess at launch, PS4 is $450 for the base model, and Xbox 720 is $350 for base model.

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

lol the one thing i have to say about this article... that nintendo should "even give consideration to releasing first-party titles...on other platforms."

Hah! Why do analysts continue to want Nintendo to release their games on other platforms?

If Ninty EVER released a single N first party title on any platform other than a Nintendo one, they would be undermining themselves and cutting into their OWN SALES !

Let's be real...if we could all buy Zelda, DK, Mario, etc, on the xbox 360 instead of the Wii this past generation, who wouldn't have gone with the 360 version? Come on now, analysts, as long as Nintendo has a console on the market they will only release games on their own systems. 

And they make this statement as if it's supposed to help Nintendo? How would it help? It wouldn't, at all.

Stupidity, really.

Maybe someday if Nintendo really does tank in the console wars, which, hey, could happen this generation with the Wii U vs Xbox/ps4, i don't know, but if they ever do, then they will (hopefully) at least continue to make their awesome games and yes, then publish them on other platforms. But for now, it would only hurt their own system sales. The biggest reason Nintendo consoles sell, is for Nintendo games.

Z3KR0M
Z3KR0M

This is what I think will happen: These new consoles are aiming to have big sales offering new tecnology to make games BUT take in mind that game developers are stuck right now. The costs of making games is too high when using current gen consoles and the companies are having trouble making the game profitable. I think that the launch of these consoles is not nessesary, having a PC that can handle almost any kind of game at a lower cost would be a problem to these consoles. This is why I think Nintendo make a smart move, knowing HD was out didn't use it on Wii because that way they could make another console having HD (Wii U) and offer its first party games with amazing graphics. Nintendo can now wait (5-6 years) for a real change in graphics and gameplay to be created and launch a console with it. Plus, having a very unique console, PC gamers can not experience that gameplay.

In conclution I think we have enough with the launch of Wii U while they (Developers) create new tecnology to make games really change (ULTRA HD is coming = HD x4) and have amazing graphics and creative gameplay.

I can see in the future Nintendo having the only dedicated videogame console BUT with hardware made with Sony (LIke before) and a windows based  OP system and online service, and of course the creative and inovating ideas of Nintendo and their games. I think that way developers will not have trouble selling games, giving more content and variety in one system, that will make us gamers happy!!!!!

franzito
franzito

Here in Brazil systems generally launch at skyrocketting prices and, as the years go by, they start to drop. But it can take 4, 5 years...

Shinteikun
Shinteikun

Ah... the crappy thing about this, next gen consoles will cost at least, if not over, 1000 USD here... so did ps3 and x360... come to think of it, ps2 was around 900 USD at it's release here... Games still cost over 110 USD for all consoles, active and dead ones...

I hate croatia...

phoenix5352
phoenix5352

400$ will be reasonable for next ps4,

just hope that it have backward compatibility ..

Divad222
Divad222

If Nintendo results to releasing their first party titles on on systems, they are conceding defeat in the hardware industry. Those titles draw in a major source of their console sales. 

It will be an interesting year for Nintendo to say the least

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

First Xbox 360 and PS3 are selling well and at $199.99+ dollars.  SO what power advantages will   these NEW consoles have.  In addition if Motion takes up some power and Graphics takes up the rest then WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT next gen??

If the games are similar then I see no reason to buy An Xbox3 or PS4 next gen but I may get a PC to use Steam for the plenty of cheap games to play next gen game STILL. So I will miss nothing. And I have a HUGE back log of games. 

Jerell_rast
Jerell_rast moderator

Looking forward to the PS4.

n0matter
n0matter

Dipqueer Eddie Makuch (Mack-ooch) never fails to throw a jab or two at Nintendo when he writes this crap up.  His bias is so transparent, I don't know why they don't swap out his pic with a Master Chief avatar or something.  As for the new console releases...I just bought a PS3.  There are at least a half dozen titles coming out this year that are going to keep me occupied for a long, long time not even considering my existing backlog.  If either of these companies thinks I'm going to drop another $400 on a new console with unnecessary features (like screen resolution capatability tht no one's tv can support), they're dead wrong.  Add to that anti-used game sales components?  Then you can take your consoles and shove them up your asses.  Too early and unnecessary.  


P.S.  To all of the fanboys:  expect more expensive games.  Production costs are only going to go up thanks to you graphics whores.

slycoon6003
slycoon6003

i just hope they don't rush anything cause we don't need no more RROD or YLOD

AlexFili
AlexFili

It'll cost a fortune, no doubt

mdboomer
mdboomer

Maybe other options like the Steam Box (hate that name) will keep Sony and MS in line for their launches.

Dswiss
Dswiss

I was really hoping they wouldn't call it the xbox 720

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

So are they going to M$ people out of more money with a higher xbox live subscription fee? Im starting to think PC might be the way to go.

Vickman178
Vickman178

I still don't understand people it when they say the Wii U launch was "lackluster" its been outselling the 360 and PS3 during its launch which both launched at much better economic times then now and of course it wasn't going to beat the WIi since it gained major hype when it came out and the Wii U had literally no advertisements.


It took like 2 years for the 360 to take off and 3 years for the PS3. Its gonna be fine. Remember when people were talking about how the PS3 was going to be Sony's last system? Ya we all know out that turned out.

Gblazer01
Gblazer01

If the PS4 has backwards compatibility  then I'll most likely pick it up at launch. If it doesn't, in light that there are still great titles yet to be released for the PS3, then I'll have to wait a year or until they drop the price. 

okassar
okassar

I actually hope they are 400-450 because, remember, Microsoft and Sony tend to sell consoles at a loss at first. Simply put, you see the increase in quality with every additional dollar paid. If the next generation of consoles is going to be as long as the current one or longer, the next Xbox and Playstation better pack the best technology available/possible at launch.

charlieholmes
charlieholmes

That better be a physical OR digital option with the new consoles because I won't be using digital at all. For DLC, sure, but not a full game. I like being able to actually have a physical copy of a game. I'm not liking the direction console companies are rumored to go with Next-Gen.

sfjreid
sfjreid

as a person who is a very big fan of nintendo (even tho i currently play a ps3 primarily) i can see how nintendo is going to have its hands full if pricing is anywhere close to the predictions. the wii always had a price point advantage which was a big selling point in my opinion.  i predict seeing nintendo franchise games on the ps4 and the 720 and if not on the next gen of consoles. nintendo seems to have a hold on the portable gaming market as of now so they should focus on that. wii u is lagging right out of the gate. as much as it pains me to say that i feel its true and in time other nintendo fan boys will too :(

emptycow
emptycow

lmfao this is what i said the other day the nintendo fan boys were thinking the ps4 and xbox 720 would cost $500 lmfao  the xbox 720 and ps4 are going to be waaaaaaay more powerful then the wiiu and cost the same as the wiiu lmfao  nintendo is done

daveg1
daveg1

yeah sure they will..

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

These consoles have been out for so long and the hardware is so much stronger now that I honestly wouldn't doubt it.  I mean the xbox 360 has been hardware locked since 2004.  Think about how much better GPU's and CPU's have gotten over the past 8-9 years.  You could make something immensely more powerful and have it easily cost $350.

skiggy29
skiggy29

Hate to say it buddy but I completely disagree with you.  I too own both systems and my 360 sees a lot more game time and its not just because of Gears.  For every exclusive Sony has(and they are great), Microsoft has also.  Sony is going to start charging for online service too, you watch. They already have with playstation plus and youll notice plastation plus subscribers get a hell of a lot more. That was a way for sony to start charging and moving forward they more than likely will charge.  My Xbox live is sooo taylored to my likings and customizations that it justifys paying a price tag.  Dont start talking witch is going to be better when there are barely ANY facts to support it.  If you go by this genre, Microsoft clearly beat Sony when most predicitions said sony would win.  Lets see what happeneds when they come out.

shantd
shantd

@Ravenlore_basic  Motion will be given dedicated processing on the new consoles. It will not detract from total power.

shantd
shantd

@n0matter  Absolutely people will drop $400 on a next gen console. It's been 7 frikin years, the community at large is more than ready even if a few stragglers like you aren't.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@ThAdEa82 YES and with Steam you can get inexpensive games to boot in addition to free P2P game-play where Live is just to expensive to pay for.  Yea its not much but if you just want t toss out some money then I'd rather spend that money on games.

rudyv30
rudyv30

@ThAdEa82  I've been gaming for 32yrs and between the big brother tech that M$ wants to put out and the used game killing scheme P$ is developing I think now is the perfect time to jump the console ship. With the Oculus Rift coming to PC and Android gaming getting better and better, there's no reason to stick to these old, tired walled in gardens. As far as I'm concerned RIP Xbox & Playstation.

foxfacer2d2
foxfacer2d2

@Vickman178 yeah, his right. the ps3 and xbox360 did not have good start at all because of their prices so expensive. but for the wii U, it is a better start than the 2 of those 3rd generation consoles made on its debut.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Vickman178 

Indeed, although if they don't play their cards right for their next console, it could very well be their last, we'll see. I hope for the best though.

Vickman178
Vickman178

@Gblazer01 Sad part is it probably won't be backwards compatible since from the rumours it looks like they are going to be dropping the cell processor..which actually might be a good thing...

Divad222
Divad222

@okassar Increase in quality with every dollar spent is a hopeful prospect. Tho I do agree with the need for a more powerful console if they plan on expanding the generation length.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

@charlieholmes 

Not to mention for alot of us downloading a game thats over 5gbs of memory can take 5 hrs or longer..  If digital is the route they are going I'm so passing on it...

Vickman178
Vickman178

@charlieholmes Same here, honestly digital only is just as bad as a system that could potentially block used games.


If the day ever comes where I can't buy physical then i'm not going to play video games anymore.

Divad222
Divad222

@emptycow Hardware wise, their time may be up. I can definitely see them continuing as a successful handheld/software developing company tho with their numerous successful franchises. We shall see!

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@Tremblay343 It is true that since the launch of Xbox 360 that any number of parts would be improved but a console is more than the sum of its individual parts. If the next generation is going to push ahead then looking at PC games with their high end parts you see THE SAME GAMES WITH BETTER GRAPHICS!!  

If graphic are important then PC gaming is the way to go as NO PS4 OR XBOX3 will ever come close to a PC gaming rig .... Intel i7-990X extreme edition with Nvidia Gforce GTX 690 4GB. 

famousimposter
famousimposter

@skiggy29 Lets not forget Microsoft had to rush their 360 in a year in a advanced when it wasn't even completed to get a jump on Sony and still Sony caught them in World wide sales being released a year later. Also please tell me what exclusives right now Microsoft can release with the new system. Sony has a lot of exclusives at it's disposal. Microsoft has been milking gears of war and Halo for how long. When Sony releases it's system this year tell me what games Microsoft will be able to release to get you to go out and buy that console. I don't see Sony charging to play online games. They are number one at streaming netflix. I do see them making it where you have to have  paid account to use cross chat and some share feature but lets be really Sony is ahead of Microsoft when it comes to the next Gen console. P.s. I not a Sony fan just stating the facts. I actually have played way more \hours on xbox but when you have to start paying for crap you want stuff to last. Microsoft is good at itemizing their products. Sony gives you everything up front. Also to add I am done with console and currently in the process  of building a P.C. 

Shinteikun
Shinteikun

@slainta @Shinteikun Yeah, situation in Slovenia is a bit better. But Sometimes during 2013 Croatia should enter EU so things should change... if not, I'll seriously consider Slovenia if I decide to buy one of the next gen consoles. As for Australia, yeah, I've heard situation there is horrid.

shantd
shantd

@Divad222 @okassar  Well, they're talking about 10 year development cycle. I think that's foolish, and it may be wishful thinking on their part, but that is the number they've thrown around. So yeah, they better pack a wallop. Otherwise, the only way they'll get 10 years is if they make the systems modular, where you can buy a new graphics card for the console and swap out the old one.

Divad222
Divad222

@Ravenlore_basic @Tremblay343 Better graphics for sure, but unless your on the forefront of PC technology, keeping up with upgrades to play these high end games may be more work then a lot of gamers want to put in.

shantd
shantd

@Divad222 @Ravenlore_basic @Tremblay343 Yup...more work and more money. I've got a gaming rig, spent almost $400 on the gfx card alone. Guess what...if I can play the same game on PC or console, I will go console every time. May not look as good, but it's close enough that the convenience of playing on a console outweighs the other considerations.