The Xbox Series X isn't just shaping up to be more powerful than the PS5 -- it could end up being cheaper, too. According to a new analyst prediction, Microsoft may take a loss on its upcoming next-generation console in order to undercut the PlayStation 5 by a significant amount this holiday season.
On a recent episode of Geoff Keighley's Bonus Round (via Push Square), Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicted that Microsoft will target a price of $400 for the Xbox Series X, which could significantly undercut the PS5's expected $500 price tag.
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"From what I've seen, Sony's gonna have to charge $500 for the PS5," said Pachter. "Microsoft has a big balance sheet. If they want to cut the price by $100... they will. I think they're waiting to have Sony blink first, and then they'll reveal the price and release date."
Pachter continued, "Very likely sometime in November, very likely $400, and fans are going to get a lot from their $400."
If this scenario sounds familiar, it's because the very opposite happened at the start of the current console generation. At E3 2013, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One would cost $500, partially due to all consoles being bundled with the ill-fated Kinect camera. Just hours later, Sony revealed that the PS4 would cost $400, which played a huge role in giving PlayStation the early lead and ultimate victory in the current-gen console war.
Peter Moore, a games industry veteran who helped lead the Xbox team through the Xbox and Xbox 360 era, agreed with Pachter's predictions when chiming in on Keighley's show.
"Microsoft right now, the stock price, the market cap... everything's flying for them," said Moore.
"Does Satya [Nadella] say, 'this is the opportunity right now, as we did with Xbox 360, lets get in, let's price it right, let's get the right content there. Let's take advantage of this global crisis right now because the thirst and appetite for these online experiences has never been greater. Let's dare Sony to come in at $500.' If I'm back in my old job, that's exactly what I'm doing."
Neither Sony nor Microsoft has revealed the price of their new consoles yet, but we expect that to change soon. Sony is rumored to have a major PS5 launch event on June 2, while Microsoft recently announced plans to roll out new Xbox Series X information in a series of monthly Xbox 20/20 livestreams. With only a few months to go until the launch of both consoles, the shape of the next-gen console battle should become much clearer soon.
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.
Doesn't matter to me. Still getting a PS5. If the Xbox is more powerful, I'm doubting it'll be THAT much more powerful. I mean, come on. We're only going off specs right now anyways. There's specs, and then there's real world performance. We will see soon enough.Reply
Exactly! Just waiting for day-one PS5 pre-order and November. History shows power is only a consideration if third-party games run substantially better on one console vs another. If series X is the console that does that AND has a compelling first-party lineup then MS will actually do more than just show up this next gen. Launch price of the PS5 is hardly a factor to me.Reply
Still PS5 for me, i buy a console based on the "Games" fact that the xBox might be more powerful as little to do with it, even more when you know for the first 2-3 years all the power will be limited because games will still need to be made so they play on the older much weaker system, so the game and level design will hold any new MS games back.Reply