While there is obviously a great deal of excitement over the incoming prospect of next generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft, one thing that many consumers are definitely not looking forward to is the increased price that the new technology is likely to command.
If you consider that Sony originally charged $499 for the 60GB PS3 back in 2006, it is a scary prospect to consider what they may demand for the PlayStation 4. Most recently, many people were not too happy with the $299 asking price for the PS Vita either, so with all the excitement to come on what kind of hardware we may see, it may well turn to horror once Sony and Microsoft finalize their pricing in the years to come.
However, there could be one amazing twist to this which Microsoft may have just given an insight to with a new strategy for their Xbox 360. The company has just revealed a $99 Xbox 360 console which is tied to a two-year monthly subscription to Xbox Live. In a similar way in which phone contracts work, US consumers will now have the convenience of picking up a console for next to nothing and then pay it off gradually with monthly payments of $15.
In reality, the total cost of $460 when adding all the monthly costs up is obviously greater than the standard $250 you would usually pay as well as a $120 two years subscription to Xbox Live gold that you would need as well. However, paying just $99 and $15 a month may seem like a much better deal in the long run for those that don’t have enough cash to pay in one go. Also, if the move turns out to be a glowing success for Microsoft, then don’t be surprised if we see a similar move for their next generation Xbox console either. It is very clever from Microsoft’s part you have to say.
Monthly installments are a great way to manage your overall bills and extending this with your home gaming console may prove to be a stroke of genius by Microsoft. Will Sony adopt a similar approach with their PS3? There may be additional barriers for Sony to overcome though if they go down this route as online gaming via the PlayStation Network still remains free compared to Xbox Live.
Put it this way – would you prefer to pay a monthly subscription with your next generation console combined with say a $150-200 one off fee for the console? Or would you just prefer the traditional method of paying one lump sum for everything? It is going to be interesting to see how well Microsoft’s new strategy performs – this could well phase one of their transition into next generation gaming on the Xbox.