The Xbox Series X could launch at $100 cheaper than the PlayStation 5, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
During an interview with gaming journalist Geoff Keighley, Pachter commented on Microsoft’s strategy to gradually reveal details of its new console over the next few months.
According to Pachter, this is a ploy to try and force Sony to reveal the price of the PlayStation 5 first.
“Microsoft’s being really smart about waiting Sony out here,” he said. “From what I’ve seen, Sony’s going to have to charge $500 for the PS5.”
According to Pachter, Microsoft will be willing to sell its console at a loss in the race to become the first company to reach 10 million unit sales.
Once the PlayStation 5’s launch price is confirmed, he expects Microsoft will aim to undercut Sony by $100 on the Xbox Series X price.
“Microsoft has a big balance sheet. If they want to cut the price by a $100, just priced below, and subsidise the first 10 million [units], they will,” he stated.
“They are waiting to have Sony blink first and then they’ll reveal the price and the launch date,” Pachter claimed.
He added that the Xbox Series X will “very likely” be launched in November and “very likely” be priced at $400.
Former EA and Microsoft Executive Peter Moore backed up Pachter’s claims.
“Michael’s right,” he stated. “What both companies are going through right now is [asking] ‘How much can we afford to lose in the first 12 to 18 months? What is our attach rate of software to hardware? What are we willing to do in year one, two and three to hit 10 million [units]?’ ”
He added that Microsoft’s stock price and market cap were “flying”, which provides an opportunity for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to recreate the success of the Xbox 360’s sales.
Analysts have previously blamed the company’s decision to price the Xbox One at $100 above the PlayStation 4’s retail price back when the consoles launched in 2013 as one of the primary reasons it lost the console war.
At the end of 2019, Sony had sold 106 million PlayStation 4 consoles, and although Microsoft has not revealed official sales figures for the Xbox One, estimates have put its sales at less than half of that – between 40 and 50 million.