When the Neo Geo launched in 1990, it was priced at an absurd $650. When Panasonic unveiled the 3DO in 1993, attached was a $699 price tag.
Things have improved since then. The cost of manufacturing electronics has decreased dramatically and those savings have been passed on to the consumer. When the Xbox 360 launched on November 22, 2005, it was priced at a then-reasonable $399. Today, you can grab what is now the last-gen console for under $200. Mobile phones with superior graphics and processing power can be purchased on basic cell phone plans for under $100.
All of this led some people to anticipate the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 would launch with very affordable prices. Some said $399. Others said $349.
Yeah … about those predictions … they were very wrong.
At today’s Microsoft event at E3, it was announced that the Xbox One would go on sale in November for the hefty price of $499.
It’s a bold play from Microsoft — especially considering all the backlash the Xbox One has received in recent weeks related to news about restrictions on used games, the much-debated “always on” Internet connectivity requirement and the super creepy rumors about the Kinect watching you all the time.
The ball’s now in Sony’s court. If the PlayStation 4 is announced with a price that comes in significantly lower than $499, it could shift the balance of power in gaming.
So, in other words, expect Sony to bungle the whole thing and announce a price of $499, too.