Microsoft’s E3 press event just wrapped up, and it was pretty much what you’d expect. Trailers and gameplay footage dominated the presentation, which provided glimpses of a few multi-platform titles but largely concentrated on Xbox exclusives like Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Titanfall, and, of course, Halo. The Xbox One’s price was also revealed. Brace yourself: the next-gen console will ring in at $500 when it arrives in November.
For reference, the Xbox 360 was priced at $400 when it debuted in 2005. It was accompanied by a $300 Core model that dropped the built-in 20GB hard drive, traded the wireless controller for a wired one, and swapped the HD-friendly component cables for SD-only composite ones. There doesn’t appear to be a stripped-down variant of the Xbox One, though.
The PlayStation 3 launched a year after the Xbox 360 with price tags of $400 for the 20GB model and $600 for the 60GB one. While widely criticized for being too expensive, the PS3 at least had a Blu-ray player to help soften the blow. The Xbox One has Blu-ray, too, though that feature is somewhat less exciting almost seven years later. Microsoft may have to lean on the Xbox One’s integrated Kinect functionality to justify the $500 price tag. Whether bundled or sold separately, the motion controller typically adds about $100 to the Xbox 360.
We don’t yet know how much Sony will charge for the next-gen PlayStation 4, but Sony could undercut Microsoft this time around. I’m more curious about the sort of gaming PC you’ll be able to assemble for about the same money. The Econobox build in our latest System Guide rings in at $600 and should be able to handle most current games at 1080p. By November, you should be able to get even more potent hardware for the same price or less.