Holiday 2020 is shaping up to be a big time for gamers, as both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Project Scarlett are set to launch. There are brand loyalists who already know which they will pick up, there are many who will wait to see how each console performs at launch, and there are also those who will weigh the pros and cons of each console before purchase. Of course, that comes down to specs, exclusive games, prices, and a few other variables, with very little known about each console. However, based on release patterns and market trends, it is somewhat possible to try and narrow down the Xbox Project Scarlett price.
First, here's what we know about the Xbox Project Scarlett thus far: it'll have a custom-designed AMD processor using both Zen 2 and Navi architecture, be able to support 120 FPS and potentially 8K resolution, real-time ray-tracing, an SSD, with Microsoft also hailing it as 4x more powerful than the Xbox One X. The design of the console, its controller, the name of the console, and most exclusive/launch titles (except for Halo Infinite) are still under wraps.
A second thing to consider is is that consoles are often sold at a loss with few exceptions. The Xbox 360 took years to turn a profit, and the PS3 was not much better. Reports indicate that this generation was better for the PS4 and Xbox One, but the Xbox One X for example will not turn a cent for Microsoft. It has certainly increased revenue for the company, but the profitability has never been fully explained.
Either way, what this means is that any overblown estimates are likely way out of proportion, and that it probably won't be too different, if at all really, than the Xbox One X. Comparing the next-gen xbox specs revealed so far to a high-end modern gaming PC would be a good place to start, as what's promised thus far likely lines up with a $800 PC gaming rig. Once again, though, there's simply no way to justify a console at the cost of $800 or upwards.
Looking at past releases also adds context. The original Xbox launched at $299. The Xbox 360 had two launch packages: one priced at $299 and one priced at $399. The Xbox One launched at a $399 asking price as a standalone or at $499 with the Kinect Bundle that Microsoft pushed. The Xbox One X, its latest model of the brand, launched at $499.
If this was a consistent pattern, then that would put the next-gen Xbox at $599. This seems to be unlikely, as many may be unwilling to pay that, and it runs the risk of being significantly higher than predicted PS5 prices. We wouldn't rule out a twin package release, one priced more competitively and one with more features, but pricing the Xbox Project Scarlett at the same price as the Xbox One X doesn't seem likely either. Perhaps it'll be $549, a fair go-between, and one that many would consider cost efficient. Either way, $499-$599 seems to be a fair price range.
That said, it's worth mentioning that Trump has proposed certain tariffs that will drive the price of electronics in the game industry up. They're not currently active and perhaps they won't be, but if they do get enacted, then that will have a significant impact on the Project Scarlett's price. For now, the best strategy seems to be waiting until Holiday 2020 comes closer around.
Xbox Project Scarlett releases in Holiday 2020.