Anytime a new console is coming out, we all collectively hold our breath and wait for the manufacturer to announce the price point. These days, we've become used to consoles costing about $299-$399 at launch, but Xbox broke that mold when the initial $499 price point of the Xbox One bundled with Kinect.
In the past, Sony went even higher with the $599 price point on the PS3 when it originally released.. The real question now, given the upcoming release of Xbox 2/Project Scorpio, is whether this console will cross that threshold and cost $699 or more. Could Project Scorpio become the most expensive console ever released? Let's take a look at the evidence and make some predictions.
The Facts: Why Xbox 2 (Project Scorpio) Could Be The Most Expensive Console Ever
While we can't say for certain if Project Scorpio will come out at a $700 price point, we have some hints. For starters, Microsoft expects Xbox One S consoles to be their top seller, not Scorpio. On top of that, we've constantly heard Xbox boss Phil Spencer refer to it as a "premium" console.
Furthermore, we have his latest appearance on IGN's podcast where he was confronted with an interesting quandary. One of the hosts asked Phil Spencer: "Do you think you can get away with being priced higher than your competition?"
Phil's response was to compare the majority of people buying game consoles, to the core crowd. Most people go out and looking for the lowest price, the best deal, and buy games like Fifa or Rocket League (his words).
He said that the "majority of consoles we'll sell will be S's" referring to the Xbox One S model. He reasons that most people will look for the most affordable option that does what they want, and he's proud of what they did with the S model.
In his words:
"Scorpio is for the customer who knows what Scorpio is."
He goes on to say that it's for the "premium gaming customer." The person who is playing the most, spending the most money, and who knows what something like a teraflop is, and the difference between 1080p and 4K.
He compares the console to the Xbox Elite controller in the sense that the control is also a "premium product." He ends his statement by saying that they will come out at a price point which feels fair to them, and the customers will tell them how they feel as they always do.
Another fact, is that Scopio's insides cost a pretty penny. To build a PC with similar specs to Scorpio, you would be looking at a cost that easily reaches $699 or more. The raw parts that it would take to build your own PC version of Xbox 2 (Project Scorpio), easily cost that much.
Speculating the Price of Xbox 2/Project Scorpio
When we hear a price like $699, a lot of us will recoil in terror, but let's not forget that we all happily sign contracts for years of our lives just so we can get smartphones that retail for $700+ when all is said and done. Why would a console be any different?
Well, for starters, it's all up front instead of the monthly payments you make on your smartphone. So, why doesn't Microsoft just set up a contract so you can make monthly payments on your "premium" console? What you may not know, is that they've offered that before.
That's right! Way back in 2012, Microsoft was offering an Xbox 360 S system for $99 if you signed a contract for 2-years of Xbox Live at $14.99 per month.
The total cost ended up being $360 over the period, which was $60 more than just buying the console outright, but since Xbox Live costs $60 anyway, it wasn't a bad deal for online gamers at the time. It didn't last for very long before Microsoft stopped the deal, but it could be a good way for Microsoft to entice less "premium" gamers as Phil puts it, into buying Scorpio.
I don't think Microsoft will come out of the gate with a subscription model like this, but if Scorpio's ultimate price point doesn't catch on, I think it's an idea they could easily revive to get more people on board with the new console.
There's also the chance that they manage to keep the console at or around a $499 price point, in which case, they'll have a strong competitor against PS4 Pro at the $399 price point, especially if they can showcase the power underneath Xbox 2's hood.
All the evidence puts Scorpio in the $399-$699 range, the higher end of which would make it the most expensive console ever sold. In my opinion, Microsoft will probably try to keep it around $599. You can read about this and much more on our Xbox 2 Price page.
In the meantime, let us know what you think! Will Xbox 2/Project Scorpio be the most expensive console ever sold, in addition to the most powerful console ever built? Let us know in the comments!