Analytics firm Baird Equity Research spent its time at CES rubbing elbows with companies involved in videogame console development, and after crunching the numbers, the firm has offered an expected price range for the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles: $350-$400. If the prediction pans out, the launch prices will fall in line with where the 20GB Xbox 360 debuted ($399), and significantly lower than the PS3's initial offerings at $499 and $599.
"Our checks suggest that next-generation console hardware will be largely built from 'off the shelf' high-end PC components, along with hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing (Kinect integration with every Xbox), and broad multi-media capabilities," claims Baird's Colin Sebastian.
Along with these educated guesses, the company also placed some timetables on when the new consoles will eventually be revealed. According to Baird, both the PS4 and Xbox 720 - or whatever they end up being named - will be revealed prior to E3, with the industry trade show acting as an opportunity for both companies to drum up support.
The firm expects Sony to launch its next box in October of this year, with Microsoft following with a November release of the next Xbox. If Baird's predictions pan out, it's going to be a mighty interesting year for the industry, and we can't wait.