Microsoft is only a few weeks away from pulling back the veil on all things Project Scorpio. The new console has a lot of momentum behind it heading into E3 2017. The biggest unknowns as of now are when will the system launch and of course, how much will it cost?
Project Scorpio is going to be the most powerful piece of hardware on the console market. PS4 Pro is a strong system, however, it will not be nearly as powerful as Scorpio. With that, Microsoft possesses a major opportunity when it comes to how they price Scorpio.
We have seen before just how a console’s price can alienate gamers from it. We saw it with PlayStation 3 and quite frankly, we saw it a little bit with the original Xbox One launch. Microsoft knows how important price is, and hopefully they’ve learned from past mistakes. Michael Goodman, who is the director of digital media strategies at Strategy Analytics, spoke about why price is so important.
“We know an unprecedented amount of information about Scorpio at this point. The most important thing to me that we don’t know is the price point. Quite frankly, I think that’s the thing that can make or break it. We have definitely learned that there is a top end to what consumers will pay for a game console. Sony taught us that in the prior generation. From a hardware perspective, Scorpio looks like an amazing machine. The only question is, are you going to price it out of the market?” Goodman told We Write Things.
Price is a very simple and irrelevant concept when you think about what a console is. The actual hardware is what makes a system what it is. However, society is how it is today and an overpriced Scorpio will not lead to positive sales for Microsoft. It is crucial for Scorpio to have a reasonable price tag.
When Sony launched PS4 Pro, they priced the hardware at $399, a bargain for the type of power it has. Project Scorpio is a more powerful system, however, Microsoft still knows how important price is. Goodman gave We Write Things the highest price he thinks Scorpio can have without alienating gamers.
“Given the environment out there, I think they have to be within $50 of the Pro. I think they can go $450 basically. You might be able to get away with $479, but you’re starting to push it. I think once you get above $449, you’re starting to push it. $449 is pretty darn expensive. You can sort of justify it, given the horsepower that is has, but you’re going to cut a significant part of the market out if you price it above $449. Best case scenario, and I’m not sure if they can do this without taking a financial hit, is $399. That would be brilliant,” Goodman said.
I think $499 will definitely be too high for many people. That price would basically be Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot again. Anything higher would just not bode well for the system. It is such a small thing, but it possesses the potential to make or break Scorpio. We’ll find out once Xbox’s E3 2017 briefing rolls around on June 11. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Scorpio.