Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter is best known for being completely wrong about things, but here’s what he predicts the PS4 will cost in the US at launch: $349.
In an E3 preview note to investors, Pachter estimates that the PlayStation 4’s materials will cost around $275, while the Xbox One will cost around $325 in materials (presumably, he doesn’t believe the PS4Eye will be bundled, while the Kinect 2 has been confirmed to be bundled). Because of this, he predicts the One will cost more at retail, at $399.
However, Pachter believes the One may be available subsidized, either by signing up to contracts with cable or ISP companies, or through XBL:
We believe the ability to watch live TV from a cable, telco, or satellite set-top box through Xbox One could entice an MSO to drive subscriptions through a subsidized box in exchange for a multi-year contract. The ‘always connected’ requirement for the Xbox One likely means that a broadband connection will be required, suggesting to us that ISPs may have an incentive to offer a subsidy as well.
In addition, Microsoft could conceivably subsidize the Xbox One through prepaid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions (as it has done on a limited basis in the past) or premium Skype functionality as well. Similarly, Sony could subsidize the PS4 through prepaid PlayStation Network subscriptions, but unlike Microsoft, it does not have a history of doing so.
He also predicts a $50 price cut on the PS3 and 360, the Wii coming down to $99, and a possible Vita price cut.
Meanwhile, here’s what he thought about the Wii U:
In addition, if the Wii U’s popularity does not improve by the end of the year, many third-party publishers may pass on producing games for the console. We note that EA recently announced that it had no Wii U games in development, and it remains a possibility that the publisher will abandon the platform entirely. Should other third parties follow EA’s lead, the Wii U could be relegated to a first party only platform.
We’ll find out how much will come true at E3, but what do you think? Let us know your equally wild guesses in the comments below.