Speaking at the Evolve conference, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicted that the next-generation Xbox console will retail for $99 as Microsoft continues to create an all-in-one media machine.
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Next year is going to be super interesting as the video game industry transitions into its eighth generation of consoles. We don’t know what Microsoft and Sony have planned, but Michael Pachter reckons the former could be building on the subsidized Xbox model with its next console.
He believes we’ll be paying a low upfront price and an ongoing subscription, which probably isn’t going to appeal to users who don’t want a subscription or the younger audience who rely on parents to buy products. If following the subscription model, Microsoft will probably also offer a non-subsidized version of the Xbox. If that happens, it’ll be interesting to see if an ongoing subscription would include Xbox Live Gold subscription.
Pachter also reckons the next-gen Xbox will connect to the television, sounding similar in function to a set-top box. Microsoft has TV partners in Hulu, ESPN and the BBC so encouraging those users to move the Xbox to the living room – as the main device – seems logical.
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Pachter also said the console will be the TV and internet – Internet Explorer 9 is coming to the Xbox 360 – and added that the console will display multiple screens to connected devices. Microsoft already showed SmartGlass, an app for providing added context to game and non-game content.
He’s also confident Microsoft is going to partner with a cable provider, hence the subsidized pricing. Microsoft’s Larry Hryb described the $99 Xbox 360 as, effectively, a test which is rolling out to Best Buy and Microsoft Stores. The value-for-money proposition isn’t great for the Xbox 360, because the console is cheap and hard drives can be bought for sub-$100. And with just a year to go, you’re sticking with a console that’s going to have its support waning after about a year of the next-gen Xbox announcement.
Pachter doesn’t have a fantastic track record, and criticized gaming forum NeoGAF for consistently ridiculing his predictions and labelling him as the anti-Nostradamus.
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