A few weeks ago, the idea of Xbox Lockhart, a lower spec, lower priced Xbox Series X, didn’t make a whole lot of sense in Microsoft’s lineup. Xbox One S, disc and digital, Xbox One X, Lockhart and Xbox Series X? Five models? How exactly would that work?
Well, it wouldn’t, which is why as of this week, Microsoft announced they’re slimming down, discontinuing the Xbox One S digital and the Xbox One X. Just an Xbox One S and Xbox Series X, and though they did not take this opportunity to announce Lockhart officially, that’s coming soon. So three models.
And this news also pretty much guarantees that Xbox will technically have the cheapest next gen console, now that the Xbox One X is out of the way.
How am I gathering that from this recent change? Because the Xbox One X was officially priced at $400 up until the point it was discontinued. You could maybe see it on sale for $300 to $350. But the point is, it was essentially “squatting” on a lower price point that should theoretically be occupied by Xbox Lockhart. And now I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
As the “cheaper” Xbox, one that may not be able to do 4K gaming, but will still play all next gen games and have other upgrades, I would not expect the Xbox Lockhart to be priced higher than $400. I do not think Microsoft will go as low as $300-350, frankly because they don’t need to.
I am nearly 100% sure that Sony will not price the PS5, either the disc or digital model, as low as $400. Sony has openly said that it’s not about price this time around, but about value. So I think that they are destined to be undercut by the Xbox Lockhart now that it can be any price it wants with Xbox One X out of the picture.
My guess for what’s coming:
Xbox Series X: $500 – I still believe this is the price point Microsoft wants for the Series X. $600 would just push everyone to either PlayStation or Lockhart, but $500 is more reasonable for an “upgrade.”
PS5 Disc/Digital: $550-500 – This is where I think Sony will land, about even with Microsoft, though perhaps a bit higher if you want the disc version of the console. They can’t go as low as $400 this time, they just can’t, and I still think they will be too afraid to go to $600 after the PS3.
Xbox Lockhart: $400 – It can’t really be any more than this and still considered a “value,” and it doesn’t really need to be any less than this considering no other console is going to be priced within $100 of it already.
So in short, this puts Microsoft in a pretty solid pricing position, something they certainly didn’t have last generation. Even if I’m wrong and Series X is $600, they still have Lockhart as an alternative and can undercut PS5 that way.
Will it be enough? No. Brand loyalty is so high to Sony and the PS5 with this past generation going so well, even if Sony is beat on price this time around, I don’t think there will be anything to dramatically shift things in Microsoft’s favor. And both sides seem to know that. Obviously it would’t hurt Microsoft to win the price war, but it will take more time and energy than that for longer term conversions.
As ever, I’ll buy both. Prices and Lockhart reveal soon, it would seem.
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