We’ve said this before: PS3 (SNE) doesn’t need to get into a price war with the Xbox 360 (MSFT) because it is still the most popular Blu-ray player in existence (but then again, Blu-ray isn’t doing so hot).
But two analysts told video game news site Next-Gen they think that there will be a price war by the end of the year – initiated by Sony.
Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan: “My best guess is that Sony cuts first (as its production increases on PS3, its costs are coming down), probably by $50, perhaps by $100, but in any case, late in the year. “Microsoft will respond, as they fully intend to keep the 360 priced below the PS3. Again, I expect a $50 price cut, also in October.”
Colin Sebastian, Lazard Capital Markets: “I expect both Sony and Microsoft to seriously consider lowering hardware prices this year in North America, primarily due to the lower cost of building and manufacturing the consoles, and also the desire to sell into a broader consumer audience.”
What about the Wii? Pachter thinks Nintendo will unbundle Wii Sports and then “cut” the price down to $200 from $250, knowing that people will buy a game with the system. Sebastian doesn’t think they’ll cut at all, especially because they’re the only manufacturer making money on their next-gen console, and there’s strong demand.