Speaking during a panel at South by South West over the weekend, Wedbush Securities Research Analyst Michael Pachter revealed that his firm is expecting software for the PlayStation 4 and the next-gen Xbox (Xbox 720/Durango) to retail for $70.
This price directly contradicts recent statements from Sony Computer Entertainment America president and CEO Jack Tretton, who hinted that PlayStation 4 software would top out at $60, saying:
“We’re going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $.99 up to those $60 games… I think people are willing to pay if they see the value there. The heat for the true gamer is on the console.”
“You’re going to see some of the greatest games ever created and the consumer is going to have more ease of use, the ability to sample games before they buy them and have more breadth of games than they’ve ever seen before,”
Interestingly, Pachter’s $70 estimate is in line with a “misstatement” from Electronic Arts’ CFO Blake Jorgensen, who told attendees of the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference that next generation software prices would start out at $69. Jorgensen’s statement was later clarified by an EA representative who said the CFO meant to say $59.
Aside from predicting the price tag for PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 games, Pachter also offered his thoughts on how the upcoming next-gen console war will shake out. According to the video game analyst, Nintendo will land in a rough third place with 30 to 50 million Wii U units sold on the back of their software. Sony was said to “thrive” into second place with 85 to 95 million PlayStation 4 units sold, thanks to their “Gaikai and content” advantages. Finally, Microsoft was predicted as the big next-gen winner with 85-95 million Xbox 720 units sold, due to “the TV tuner and Skype… killer apps”.
Yep, TV tuner and Skype. Just what every gamer has been asking for.
Despite these lofty sales estimates (except for the Wii U), Pachter also stated that this next generation of home consoles will be the last. Which kind of makes Microsoft’s predicted victory over the PlayStation 4 and Wii U extremely hollow.