The Sony PS4 could go on sale for as little as $349 (£228), while the Xbox One may be $399 (£260) according to reports on Monday.
Investment firm Wedbush Morgan reckons the starting price for both consoles will be much, much lower than the previous generation of gaming systems.
In a note to investors ahead of the E3 expo, which begins this time next week, analyst Michael Patcher told clients that the new PS4 will cost Sony around $275 to make, which means the company will be able to sell the console for less.
The PS3 went on sale for $599 in 2006, which would represent a massive drop-off in the perceived value of games consoles and the cost of building them should Sony follow through on Patcher’s prediction.
On the other side of the coin, the same analyst believes Microsoft will price its new Xbox One console slightly higher at $399.
Patcher estimates that each Xbox One will set the company back around $325, meaning they’ll make about $75 on each one sold.
The analyst also predicted that lower prices will be available for those who buy the consoles as part of a cable TV subscription or through Xbox Live / PSN contracts. Perhaps even through broadband packages.
He wrote: “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 subsidised 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 subsidise 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 subsidise the PS4 through prepaid PlayStation Network subscriptions, but unlike Microsoft, it does not have a history of doing so.”
The prediction comes following last week’s Amazon listings which offered the Xbox One and Sony PS4 for the pre-order price of £599 ($1,000).
The price was generally thought to be a misnomer, as Amazon has promised to honour the lowest price the console is available at in the run-up to launch.
Have you decided which next-gen console you’re plumping for? Or are you still waiting to be convinced by Sony or Microsoft? Check out our Xbox One vs PS4 feature for a helping hand.