The year a new series of consoles gets released is always an exciting time for gamers and PC enthusiasts alike. Even for PC gamers who want to speed up their PCs, it’s interesting to watch what each new console brings to the table and where the majority of gamers will eventually flock.

Such is the case with this fall’s release of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, a rivalry that continues into a third generation of gaming consoles. And if you believe a hardware components researcher, Sony’s unit will have a $50 advantage over Microsoft’s Xbox One.

That components researcher is Michael Pachter, who recently estimated the cost of materials based on recently announced specifications for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Much lower than the last generation

With every generation of consoles, there are widespread rumors that the hardware manufacturers subsidize their units in order to get them to more households. It’s rumored that both Sony and Microsoft did this for the previous generation of consoles. The manufacturer then recaptures some of its loss by offering TV streaming, Xbox Live, exclusive gaming agreements, and the prestige of having a number one gaming console.

The strange thing is that the previous generation of Sony consoles sold for much higher than $399. The PlayStation 3 retailed for $599. The Xbox 360, however, retailed for $399 and eventually became the most popular console in North America.

It’s possible that Sony learned from its high pricing mistake and has decided to cut costs significantly for this generation – especially since the Xbox One has faced a lukewarm reception from gamers.

What will the price actually be?

The console wars will be hotter this fall than they have ever been before. It’s likely that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will release within just a few weeks of each other, and the company that releases its console first – with a killer game or two – will obviously hold an immediate upper hand out of the gate.

Personally, I think $349 for a brand new console is a little lower, and I would put my personal price estimates at $449 for the Xbox One and $399 for the PlayStation 4. But hey, what do I know? We’ll just have to wait until this fall to find out for sure.

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