Baird Equity Research weighed in with its next-gen Xbox and Playstation predictions Monday suggesting that the PS4 will hit first in October of this year followed by the next Xbox (aka Xbox 720) approximately a month later. Also, they both will launch at reasonable price points.
Analyst Colin Sebastian of Baird sent a note to investors following last week's happening at CES in Las Vegas. Sebastian spent time "with a number of companies involved in video game development and distribution" and believes that both next-gen consoles will launch with prices in the neighborhood of $350 to $400.
This is within the same price range that we've expected as all signs point to both Microsoft and Sony making their next-gen consoles as affordable to manufacture as possible unlike the previous generation. Sebastian notes the same in his investor's note.
"Given the fragile state of the console game market, we expect the E3 trade show in June will take on added significance, most likely providing the industry with the first public opportunity to examine next-generation hardware," he wrote.
"Our checks suggest that next-generation console hardware will be largely built from 'off the shelf' high-end PC components, along with hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing (Kinect integration with every Xbox), and broad multi-media capabilities," he detailed.
"Moreover, a PC-based architecture (Intel chips in the case of Xbox) should have a number of advantages over custom-developed silicon: for one, the learning curve for software developers will be shorter than completely new technology. Second, the cost of production and retail price points should be lower than prior console launches.
"Third, it will be easier to build online services around PC chip architecture, including flexible business models (free-to-play, subscriptions) and multi-media (over the top) content offerings. For Microsoft, this design will also allow for more integration with Windows 8 and Windows Mobile devices," he added.
Sebastian warns that the PS4 may suffer from early production issues according to those he's checked with but believes that it will launch in October followed by the next Xbox in November.