After almost 10 years in the commercial limelight, the 7th gen of home video game consoles is no longer current. What was once next-gen is now the new norm, and what came before that is neither new nor ‘old school.’ Like the awkward teenagers of the gaming industry, Sony‘s PS3 and Microsoft‘s Xbox 360 are now stuck in some uncool territory, being both a tad too old to be fully relevant and too young to be retro.
With the 8th generation of consoles off to a sterling start, it now falls to publishers to decide how and when they intend to make the jump to ‘next-gen’ exclusivity. Will they continue to cross-develop major titles – to tap into the 360 and PS3’s larger install-base – or forsake both systems in favor of their bigger, faster siblings?
According to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, any displays of last-gen loyalty are likely to cost both Microsoft and Sony. The long-time GameTrailers contributor detailed his belief in an imminent price cut during a recent appearance on the ‘Bonus Round’ panel show. Pachter stated:
“I think the publishers are going to threaten the manufacturers, and they’re going to say “cut the price of the PS3 and the Xbox 360, now.” So my bet is: February, price cut happening, because I actually think the publishers are gonna threaten to not support PS3 and 360 this Holiday…Holiday ’14, if they don’t see a price cut quick.”
Despite the forceful nature of the ultimatum, Pachter believes both manufacturers will be willing and able to cut costs to around $200 per unit. While this lower figure will likely erase hardware profits, the retention of major third party publishers should outweigh the overall cost.
Pachter’s bold prediction certainly paints these software companies in a strong light, though given Nintendo’s recent struggles with publisher support, neither hardware manufacturer is likely to be taking any chances where third-party backing is concerned.
While the analyst failed to specify which particular models of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 would receive the drop, the likely candidates remain — the Xbox 360 S & E variants (currently $300 each), the latter of which hit the market back in July 2013 and the 500gb ‘Super Slim’ PlayStation 3 (also retailing at $300) which debuted in October of 2012.
Interestingly, neither party has much history of dropping costs following the release of a successor system. The PlayStation 2 didn’t receive any post-PS3 price checks until some 30 months after the PS2 launched (from $130 to $100). Likewise the PSX remained at its then-$100 price point until 20 months after the PS2 debuted, at which time it fell to $50. The original Xbox also remained at its penultimate cost, until almost 20 months after the followup 360 appeared.
Is Pachter’s latest prediction more on the ball or off the wall? Can a hundred dollar price drop convince you to pick up an aging console? Which publishers are powerful enough to dictate terms to Sony and Microsoft? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest gaming news, right here on Game Rant.
The Xbox 360 currently retails at $300 R.R.P (250gb ‘S’ & ‘E’ models) and $200 R.R.P (4gb Flash Storage Variant)
The PlayStation 3 currently retails at $300 R.R.P (500gb ‘super slim’ model), $269 R.R.P (250gb ‘super slim’) and $210 R.R.P (12gb super slim’)
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