Adding to the continuing console rumours, new reports have suggested that both the PS4 and Xbox 720 release date will both be held this autumn with each Nintendo Wii U rival to cost around $400 (£249).
With an October Sony PS4 arrival reportedly set to be followed by an Xbox 720 release date in November, industry analysts at Baird Equity Research have suggested that the gaming industry’s two biggest players are to duke it out ahead of the lucrative Christmas shopping rush later this year.
With June’s LA based E3 expo a continuing highlight on the annual gaming calendar, reports have suggested that both Sony and Microsoft will shun the high-profile stage for their respective PS4 and Xbox 720 launch events, instead opting to ovoid the competitive clutter and host individual unveilings in May, similar to Apple’s iPhone and iPad launch events. Despite these grand unveiling brushoffs, it is likely that E3 2013 will mark the public’s first opportunity to sample the next-gen consoles.
"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," Baird analyst Colin Sebastian stated in a note to investors.
Discussing the as yet far from confirmed Xbox 720 specs sheet and unknown PS4 features list, Sebastian claimed that both the PS3 and Xbox 360 follow-ons will implement a PC-based architecture to capitalise on growing online markets.
"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," the Baird analyst said.
"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.”
Adding to further Xbox 720 rumours, the Baird report has cited “a number of companies involved in video game development and distribution,” in offering a potential insight into the upcoming PS4 and Xbox 720 prices.
With the two devices expected to retail between £350 and $400 at launch (£218 - £249), the claimed console prices would see the Xbox 720 price line up roughly the same as its 360 predecessor whilst the PS4 arrival will be considerably cheaper than the $499 and $599 PS3 launch models.
Whilst the gaming community eagerly awaited the arrival of the PS4 and the Xbox 720 release date, Sebastian has tipped 2013 to mark the dawn of a dominant era of tablet based gaming, stating “we expect that 2013 will also be remembered as the year that tablet games go mainstream.”
Is $400 too much for a new console or will you be more than happy to splash the cash to get your gamepads wrapped around a PS3 of Xbox 720 launch model? Let us know and share your thoughts on which console will rule the roost via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comment boxes below.