Whoa calm down, the fight hasn’t begun yet but soon in the coming months it will be, yes another showdown and console war generation is about to begin, or is it?
Consumer reports have shown that contrary to buying habits 6 years ago when these 2 giants went at it last, at release time of the 360 and PS3, sales on hardware especially have grown faster the longer the units have been out as a result to lower pricing. This holds true with units like the 3DS, which isn’t one of the major contenders in this bout but is a contender in the handheld market, having it’s price reduced to encourage people to pick them up.
What does this do for future releases at least this next coming one sometime around the holidays, 13′? It means prices for the new system could be lower than the previous generation, at least at release time. That could be a huge boost to game sales as customers may be saving and preparing themselves for higher prices. Imagine thinking your going to pay $599 only to find out the new system is only $529? I know what I would do, buy a “free” game!!
We also have recently seen a tax hike and our economy is still making small strides ahead. It could be fate that system prices come down or it could be that the big 3 are just being ‘nice’ …. <- ok probably not, but this has to make you wonder if the manufacturing for the new systems and changes in marketing are making a wonderful experience at a better price for us, the consumer, regardless of it being a Sony or Microsoft product.
Companies have always subsidized the cost of hardware through software and this is likely to happen again, the question is, as I stated before, will it be at release time or shortly after when prices get really competitive and consumer friendly? Alot of people, some here at GWW still think the current generation is healthy and a new console isn’t needed, so what will price mean to them? Function or Value?
If people are more motivated by price now, that means it will be less about brand and more about first party titles, features and connectivity than ever! Which is exciting and new as I personally, have always favored either Nintendo in my younger years or Sony in my adult years, could this change? Sony has released a new controller and mobile-streaming technology and faster access to gaming making a switch more and more enticing for everyone with a desire to stay a little ahead of their friends or co-workers. Another way to look at it is gaming is becoming more like Apple products or a lifestyle. Platforms, handhelds and multimedia are streamlined into an easy to use, widely accessible package.
Sony recently released a statement about their new hardware being made at a lower cost due to changes in manufacturing and that at launch their system, the PS4, will be affordable and competitive with the new Xbox. I for one find it easier to spend money on games when the system to play them on is a price I can be happy with. And those games of the ‘future’ are closer than we think.
I used to say about a year ago that I would be ok with my PS3 for another couple years and in actuality I would be but for the right price I may just be coaxed into a new one with enough room to enjoy more. I have a 1st generation PS3 and a modest 60GB HD inside and I have to say the bigger storage, increased hardware specs and new games are giving me an itch to get a new system, maybe not on launch day but sooner than my last console purchase.
And I just can’t help myself… another Final Fantasy is under construction already and I am anxiously waiting to see if my past disappointment will be utterly erased by the new experience, one I have missed since Final Fantasy Tactics. Rumor is out that FFXIII-2 has a sequel as the story was hinted at potentially having room to continue. I for one would purchase a new system to find out if that rumor is true, after all, they don’t call it Final Fantasy for nothing!
So my opinion or educated guess about hardware and price:
Both Xbox and PS4 will release two versions of each system at launch:
~1 TB / 2TB storage
$429.99 / $499.99 respectively
both figures are for each company and are based on pure speculation on my part as I don’t think either system will be above $500 and definitely not in the $300 range either, at least for several years. Time will tell!