With both Sony and Microsoft likely to remain mum on the topic of next gen hardware this year, it’s likely that Nintendo’s Wii U will once again be stealing the thunder at E3. That said it’s possible – indeed likely – that Sony could announce some significant price cuts to existing consoles to help maintain market pressure.
Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter believes that to be a likely outcome for E3 this year – and thinks Microsoft could join in the price-cut party as well.
Hardware sales in the US have slowed considerably as we near the end of the current console generation. Though it’s no longer doing the sort of numbers Microsoft would like, the Xbox 360 is still the champion seller stateside, with PlayStation 3 sales lagging behind – something that could change if Sony cuts the price of the console again.
“PS3 hardware sales should continue to lag those of the Xbox 360, and we expect sales to trend downward by 10 – 20% monthly, until Sony cuts prices once again, likely at E3," prognosticated Pachter.
"We expect hardware sales to rebound once price cuts are implemented, but expect a recurrence of the dip next holiday, partially buffered by some modest contribution from the introduction of the PS Vita in February and the Wii U later this year,” Pachter professionally guessed. “Recent slowing of Xbox 360 hardware sales could cause Microsoft to consider a price cut by E3. We do not expect an announcement of a next- generation console from Microsoft until the Xbox 360 core model is priced below $200, likely around this time next year.
Remember how well the PlayStation 3 sold after the price cut and the introduction of the Slim? That could happen again, and if it manages to come in at real mass market sub $200 pricing, it could position itself as…well, the new PS2.