How Expensive Is Too Expensive For Microsoft’s Xbox Scorpio? – Forbes

The Xbox Scorpio

Microsoft

The Xbox Scorpio

We are just two days away from Microsoft’s E3 press event which will have Xbox Scorpio on display for the very first time. We saw the console teased last year at E3 in a video that had developers extolling its power, and this year we’ve seen a partial technical teardown of the unit by Digital Foundry, all before we’ve even caught a glimpse of the console itself.

There are many questions about the Scorpio that fans want answered, what it looks like, what it’s called, what games it will enhance, what games it might launch with, but one is more important than all the rest.

How much is this thing going to cost?

Price is enormously important when it comes to debuting new hardware, and Microsoft has not dropped any hints about Scorpio’s price. Logic dictates it might be on the high side, given the power the console will offer, but it also has to face market realities as well. So, what’s Microsoft going to do? How expensive is too expensive for Xbox Scorpio?

$400

This is the absolute floor of possible Scorpio prices if you ask almost anyone. This would bring it in line with the PS4 Pro, which would be helpful in Microsoft’s never-ending war against Sony, but it would obviously be a lot more bang for the buck, given Scorpio’s clear power advantage.

But…$400? Some simply can’t believe it, given the tech Microsoft has put into Scorpio. They’re essentially trying to build a miniature gaming PC, producing a ton of power in a small package, shooting for native 4K, 60 FPS and a ton of other high-flying metrics. The thought is that if Microsoft priced Scorpio this low, they’d be taking quite a loss, and at this point, they’ve made it pretty clear they’re pitching Scorpio as a “premium” console, and that may mean a price to match.

Xbox One

Microsoft

Xbox One

$450

This price point could be an interesting compromise. It would be $50 over PS4 Pro, yes, but given the power differential, I doubt too many would cry foul about that. It would come in $50 under the $500 price point where Xbox One originally launched, so in some ways it could still feel like a pretty good deal. Still, this isn’t a price point you see often.

$500

This is probably the guess I see the most from press and fans. Microsoft has some bad memories with this price point, as rolling out Xbox One at $500 against PS4 at $400 was one of the missteps that led them on this long road to being behind 2:1 in sales to PlayStation this generation. However, that price point was due to the bundling of Kinect, and here, the disparity would be because of the innate power the Scorpio is packing, which might be an easier sell. Still, in a market where PS4 is already attractive and priced from $250 to $400 (with the Nintendo Switch at $300), $500 is going to seem like a lot. Even if the tech means it’s “worth it,” it will be the highest priced console on the market, which is not great for a brand that is already very far behind this generation, unless Microsoft is satisfied with a relatively small niche. Still, when all is said and done, the gaming experience Scorpio offers may be worth the premium price. This is my personal price pick.

$550

No. This price point is just too awkward. If you’re going to do this, just go lower or higher.

Xbox One

Microsoft

Xbox One

$600

Don’t go higher. While you can make a case for $500 being an acceptable price for the Scorpio, $600 is simply out of the question. Sony learned this lesson the hard way when it came to the PS3 launch, and no matter how impressive the Scorpio may be, pricing it at $600, at least double the cost of almost every other console on the market, would be flat-out suicide. While I know that $600 would be a bargain for a good gaming PC, we are still in the console market here, and there’s simply no way this would fly. Even if this product “deserves” a Rolls Royce price like this, I just can’t see that being a good idea in this current market. Not at all.

I’m not going to go any higher than this, even though I’ve heard people talk about how the Scorpio could be $800 with all the tech jammed in it, but I’m just not even going to entertain that idea.

I personally will be buying the Scorpio at any price, but it’s unclear how the larger gaming fanbase will react to the system. Will it make sense to switch over from PlayStation? Will a lot of current Xbox One owners want to upgrade?

$400 would be gamechanging, almost unbelievable price for the Scorpio. $500 would be more logical, but still manageable. My guess is the latter, but definitely one of the two. I suppose we’ll find out in 48 hours.

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