Pachter: PS4 and Xbox 720 could ship at lower prices than PS3, 360

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, a familiar face in the video game industry who often makes predictions about upcoming console launches, noted in a letter to investors on Monday that the PlayStation 4 could ship later this year at a low price point thanks to subscriptions for additional multimedia services.

"We think that the next-generation consoles will perform a wide range of multimedia functions," Pachter wrote.

This speculation should serve as little surprise to gamers, as consoles have continuously adopted a greater array of features and services over the past several years. Pachter believes that, by launching consoles that offer a wide variety of services and subscription potentialities, companies will have an incentive to subsidize the purchase of future consoles. Therefore, the price tag on the box could be lower than in the past, while long-term service commitments will easily make up for that lost revenue.

"If the subsidies are steep, it is likely that the next Xbox will appear more affordable to many consumers than currently anticipated, and it may capture market share faster than many expect," continued Pachter. "We don’t expect Sony to sit idly by watching, and believe that the PS4 will follow Microsoft’s lead in short order, suggesting to us that next-generation consoles could have lower starting prices than any in history."

Many of these statements align with previous rumors concerning the next Xbox, namely Windows insider Paul Thurrott’s suggestion that two consoles could be released side-by-side, one subsidized and the other not, at $300 and $500 respectively.

Earlier this year, anonymous sources indicated to PSU that PlayStation 4 is slated for November release.