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By Jeff Somogyi, dealnews Media Editor
At E3 on Monday, Microsoft and Sony held really long keynote events in which they tried to get us excited to pay lots of money for another one of their consoles, even though the one we already own is fine and we barely play it as much as we'd like. But we digress.
Taking the stage in the morning, Microsoft's Xbox team shed some light on the features of its new console. The Xbox One will include an 8-core proprietary CPU, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a Blu-ray drive for starters. It'll only cost you $499. Later that day, when it was Sony's turn, the team rattled through a list of pertinent hardware features for its new PlayStation 4: it will include an 8-core CPU, 8GB of DDR5 RAM, and a Blu-ray drive (still), among other things.
Now, if you can remember way back to 2006, you'd have been expecting the PlayStation 4's price to be greater than the Xbox; the last time each of these companies released new consoles, the PS3 cost $200 more, so one might guess that the PS4 would be priced at or around $699. But Sony instead dropped a bombshell: The PS4 would cost "only" $399! Yes, less than the Xbox.
Is this a case of the Xbox team assuming the PS4 would again be more expensive, and thus inflated the console's cost thinking that it'd still be safely cheaper than the new Sony offering? Or is the Xbox One's $499 price tag a fair representation of what it costs Microsoft — which had in the past sold the Xbox below cost in order to gain a greater market share — to build the device? Or is Sony now taking a hit on its bottom line to gain a wider audience?
No matter the real answer, we know that over time prices will come down. However, with a lot of people now eying the PS4 as a "cheaper option," it's reasonable to assume that there's presently a fire under the Xbox's proverbial butt to bring its latest console's price down faster.
What do you guys think about the cost of each of these next-gen consoles? Based on the experience and hardware you'll get, are these prices fair? Has the cost of the consoles swayed your opinion about whether or not you'll buy either system? Are both systems too expensive? Let us know your thoughts by dropping a comment below!