Earlier today during a GameStop earnings call the video game retailer told investors that they are anticipating Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One to launch at lower price points than their respective current generation predecessors.
For Sony, this would mean that the PlayStation 4 would need to launch at some price point lower than the $499.99 20GB PS3 and the infamously priced $599.99 60GB PS3. On the other hand, Microsoft would need to get the Xbox One out the door for under the $299.99 Core Xbox 360 (no hard drive) and the $399.99 Xbox 360 Premium (20GB hard drive).
While GameStop refused to provide an estimate or price range for the two upcoming next generation consoles, their expectations based on last generation launch prices holds a lot of water. After all, the retailer is required to use this information to estimate sales and provide forecasts to investors, so it stands to reason that they have the inside track from Sony and Microsoft.
Clearly, Sony is going to avoid launching the PlayStation 4 anywhere near the toxic price points that the PS3 released at — meaning we can probably expect the console to come out for something around $399 to $449.
For Microsoft, it is hard to envision how they could possibly launch the Xbox One under the $299 Core 360 price without offering a model subsidized with a multi-year Xbox Live contract (similar to current Xbox 360 plans). Using that line of thinking, a $299 contract option alongside a non-contract version for something close to the PlayStation 4’s price range seems like a very reasonable expectation.
GameStop also noted that they are expecting that revenue will pick up once the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are released later this year. However, they said the exact same thing about the Wii U, so take that part with a grain of salt.
Both Microsoft and Sony have announced plans to reveal more about their next generation consoles at E3 next month. Hopefully, official launch prices will be part of that discussion.